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10 Things To Know About SPARK

10. SPARK has been dedicated to creating, implementing and evaluating programs to improve the health of children since 1989.

9. SPARK intellectual property, trademarks and copyrights remain with San Diego State University Research Foundation.  SPARK’s original principals insist their benevolent mission (to improve the health of children) drives the dissemination effort.

8. SPARK has been proven to work AND last. Over 50 publications have been written and reviewed to support this claim.  SPARK is the ONLY National Institutes of Health researched program that positively effects ALL of these student outcomes:  Activity levels in class and away from school, physical fitness, sport skills, enjoyment of PE, and academic achievement.  Teachers improve their quantity and quality of instruction, and the positive effects of SPARK sustain and institutionalize.

7. SPARK has over 20 staff in their San Diego headquarters, and another 20+ throughout the U.S.  This allows SPARK to provide people, resources and support to all corners of the nation.

6. SPARK operates in five content areas:  Physical Education in K-12 schools, Physical Activity and Recess for elementary schools, After School Programs, Early Childhood/Preschool, and Coordinated School Health.  SPARK is the ONLY program that can show scope and sequence for Pre-K through 12th grade (see it on-line at www.sparkpe.org) and alignment with National PE standards.

5. SPARK offers 13 research-based programs: Four in Physical Education (Grades K-2, 3-6, 6-8 and 9-12), four in Coordinated School Health (Ignite a Healthy Environment, Nutrition Services, Health Education, and Wellness for Staff), one Classroom Activity and Recess (SPARKabc’s – Activity Break Choices), one After School and one Early Childhood.  SPARKuniversity has taken the SPARK elementary and middle school PE programs and created an online resource for university students and their instructors.

4. SPARK programs provide a coordinated package of curriculum (the “what to teach”), training (the “how to teach it”), content-matched equipment (the “tools you need to teach”), and extensive follow up support because programs must institutionalize to be successful and cost effective.

3. SPARK has been honored as an Exemplary Program of the U.S. Department of Education, cited in the Surgeon General’s Report as a “School-based solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis,” earned a “Governor’s Commendation,” and in 2005, was awarded “Gold” (highest ranking) for their elementary and middle school PE programs in an independent study commissioned by the Cooper Institute.  SPARK is the ONLY program to earn “PE Gold” for grades K-8.

2. SPARK has trained teachers representing more than 100,000 schools worldwide and facilitated or partnered in more than 20 research studies and special projects since 1989. Annually, SPARK conducts between 400-500 separate, contracted workshops, presents at over 60 professional conferences, and leads 7 Institutes.  The compilation of these efforts results in more than 20,000 teachers trained and more than 1 million students effected each and every year!

1. SPARK staff are terrific. They make the process fun whether it’s several months, several years, or, as the case with many of our partners, an ongoing relationship.  Whether a large project or small, SPARK’s goal is to exceed expectations by providing effective resources, extensive support, and outstanding service.

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