September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September 19th, 2014

September is known for back-to-school festivities and the transition into fall, but did you know that it’s also Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, initiated by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) four years ago, brings awareness and recognition to this devastating epidemic among the American youth in the hopes of ending [...]

8 Essential Back-to-School Tips for Parents

August 29th, 2014

With a well-rounded summer vacation ending, parents spend a lot of time getting their kids ready for school. New school supplies, haircuts, and special end-of-summer outings all play into the back-to-school routine. There are some other things that parents can do for themselves and their kids to ensure a smooth transition into the school year, [...]

Childhood Obesity Crisis: An Update

August 5th, 2014

Obesity is a modern health problem that impacts the modern world. Globally, more than 1 billion adults and 17.6 million children are estimated to be overweight and increasing. There is not one simple way to solve the childhood obesity crisis, and many solutions are needed. One solution is to get kids moving in school, since children spend a significant amount of time in the school setting.

6 Sports Your Kids Should Try this Summer

July 28th, 2014

With time off of school, the summer months are a great time for kids to try something new. If you are looking for a way to get your kids excited and create an anything-but-sedentary summer, check out the 5 suggestions below.
Perfect as a follow-up to the fun and excitement of the World Cup, sign your [...]

SPARK celebrates 25! Reflection from Dr. Jim Sallis

July 21st, 2014

It’s exhilarating to celebrate the 25th year of SPARK. In 1989 we had big ambitions for our new NIH grant. We wanted to define what health-related physical education is, comprehensively evaluate a program that we designed to meet that vision, and then encourage schools to adopt the program so kids could be healthier. I could not have imagined where those ideas have led by 2014. I am very proud to be part of the SPARK story, because SPARK has improved the physical activity, health, and quality of life for millions children and adolescents over the past 25 years.

8 Healthy Summer Snacks for Kids

July 15th, 2014

Even when kids are out of school for the summer, families are still on the go. Planning healthy snacks is a smart way to keep everyone healthy, energized, and well rounded for summer activities. Take a look at this short list of smart and healthy summer snacks for kids:
Watermelon. This super fruit lives up to its [...]

5 Tips for a Healthy, Well-Rounded Summer Vacation

July 9th, 2014

Summer break is a great time to recharge before the upcoming school year, but can also cause some problems if it isn’t approached with a plan in mind. Research has found that kids gain weight twice as quickly during the summer than the school year, and some academic regression can also take place while on [...]

Physical Activity School Score: PASS it on!

June 25th, 2014

Regular physical activity is extremely important for children’s growth, development, and health. The 2008 National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend children engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity each day. Many children do not–especially on school days. PASS is an 8-item questionnaire that allows respondents to assess various aspects of the main sources of physical activity at an elementary school. PASS increases awareness of evidence-based practices by providing feedback immediately after a response is made to each item.

[INFOGRAPHIC] SPARK 25 Years of Success! Countering Childhood Obesity Since 1989

June 16th, 2014

For 25 years, SPARK has made it our commitment to reduce childhood obesity. Follow us on our journey back to where it all began. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible, so thank you for all the support you have provided to help us achieve our dreams!

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10 Tips for Teaching Dance

June 3rd, 2014

As I’m sure you know there are some PE teachers who don’t teach dance. They have all sorts of excuses for leaving dance out of the curriculum. If you are one of these teachers, this blog is for you. Let me put your worries at ease as SPARK can help you overcome just about any barrier you may have for not teaching dance. Here are a few of the barriers and ten tips to help overcome them.