NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- During 2014, ING U.S. is giving schools nationwide a unique opportunity to help students discover a passion for running and living a healthy lifestyle through its ING Run For Something Better School Awards. In partnership with the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD), ING U.S. will provide a minimum of 60 grants of $3,500 each, representing a 40 percent increase from those awarded during the 2013 cycle. The grant process is now open at www.aahperd.org/run. The ING Run For Something Better School Awards are available for school-based running programs that benefit students in kindergarten through the 8 th grade. In order to be considered for a grant, each program must be structured for a minimum of eight weeks and conclude with an organized running event that celebrates the students' achievements. An AAHPERD review board, made up of physical education teachers and administrators, reviews all applications and selects the recipients. "The ING Run For Something Better School Awards provide teachers with the additional resources they need to get their students motivated and on the road to a healthier lifestyle," said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING U.S. Foundation and head of the ING U.S. Office of Corporate Responsibility. "We recognize that many school systems today are faced with budget pressures and the need to cut programs that can no longer be funded. That's why we're pleased to help educators who are passionate about supporting this important mission, and to increase the size of the grants we're making available in 2014." In addition to the grants, schools can download unique running lesson plans developed by AAHPERD and based on the National Standards for Physical Education to serve as the foundation of the running program or to supplement an existing school program. Other program materials — such as sample eight-week training plans, distance logs and a running journal — will be available to help in the development of running skills and preparation for a final running event.