Archive for the ‘Physical Education News’ Category


PhysEdSummit 2015

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I want to share a personal experience with you.  This weekend, I stepped out of my comfort zone to present online at the #PhysEdSummit 3.0.  It was scary yet exciting all at the same time. The core team is so knowledgeable and helpful, and they really did put me at ease to present. There is a wide audience of passionate health and physical education professionals in the world presenting and willing to give their time, resources, and friendship to help move physical education forward.  While the conference was live on Saturday, the good work will continue long after!

We know the brain carries out four functions:  gathering information (sensory cortex), making meaning of information (back integrative cortex), creating new ideas from these meanings (front integrative cortex), and acting on those ideas (motor cortex) (Zull, 2003.)

So, here is how you can continue to be involved and keep the learning from the conference alive all year.  Visit the website and gather information!  Process it!  Then create new ideas on how you can use the information in your class or school; and finally, act …  Practice using the ideas as well as share the information.  Share the resources with your colleagues, administrators, superintendents, professors, friends, coaches and parents.  Maybe highlight one presentation each month all year long!  Regardless of how you do it, get involved and share your new concepts and ideas.  Then, present next year in the conference.

http://physedagogy.com/physedsummit/

SPARK also has free resources to utilize, like our free webinars, free SPARKecademy.org professional development app (free and paid content provided), the SPARK scope and sequence and completed alignment to national and state standards.  Visit us soon for a look!  www.sparkpe.org

Yours for Healthy Active Children,

Dr. Kymm Ballard

SPARK Executive Director

About the #PhysEdSummit

The #PhysEdSummit is a FREE online conference put on by PE professionals for PE professionals.

Mission: To provide digital professional learning opportunities for physical education professionals by sharing, discussing, and reflecting on best practices.

#PhysEdSummit 3.0 | August 15, 2015

http://physedagogy.com/physedsummit/

Let’s Go Back to School with SPARKecademy!

Monday, August 10th, 2015

SPARK has a great new resource for teachers looking for ways to earn professional development credit hours.  As a physical education teacher, it can be difficult to find opportunities for professional development that apply to your content area.  I am sure you been forced to sit through countless hours of language arts and math workshops just to fill the time because districts rarely provide any kind of continuing education for their physical education/health teachers.

Here is where SPARK would like to help fill the void.  We hear what teachers are saying and we know the limitations of finding where/when to get your PD credit hours.  That is why we have created SPARKecademy.  Here you can earn your credit hours anytime, anywhere that you want. Sit on your couch, jump on in the middle of the night, even view it on your phone or tablet when you are running errands.  SPARKecademy.org is a web-based platform that provides an innovative menu of online courses for K-12 physical education teachers and health professionals. Courses include SPARK K-12 PE Workshops, timely topic monthly webinars, SPARK mini-units, podcasts, and technology/equipment tutorials.  We are building our library to provide resources for all 5 of our program areas; Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, Classroom Activity & Recess, and Coordinated School Health.

Users receive a certificate of completion for each course and can track their professional development hours earned for the online courses as well as in-person sessions at SPARK workshops, and conference presentations.  Sign up your entire district and you can identify courses for your staff to take while being able to track and document their completed courses.  Sign up for your free account today! Go to SPARKecademy.org or download the SPARKecademy app from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Learn more about SPARKecademy!

SPARK hosted a live webinar on August 19th to preview the resources available on the SPARKecademy website and learn how to set up your free account.

Click Here to view the recording of this free webinar.

More questions? Contact us at visit http://www.sparkecademy.org/about or contact us at spark@sparkpe.org.

now-available2

10 Ways to Promote Safe Biking for National Bike Month

Friday, May 1st, 2015

bike riding

Around the country, bicyclers have been supporting National Bike Month every May since 1956. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, May gives experienced and novice cyclists a chance to participate in bicycling events, try out biking for the first time, and promote safe bicycling practices. Want to participate in the fun? Here are 10 ways you can promote safe biking during National Bike Month.

Know and Follow Bike Safety Rules

Before you start having too much fun, you’ll want to review what safe biking actually entails. BikeLeague.org shares a list of safety tips and advice on how to maintain your bike. A few tips from their list to keep in mind include:

  • Keep your tires inflated to the pressure listed on your tire.
  • Inspect your brakes frequently to ensure they work properly.
  • In addition to always wearing a helmet, make sure your helmet fits properly.
  • If riding at night, be sure to wear bright and reflective colors.
  • When riding on a trail, stay to the right, pass on the left, and ensure you use a signal—such as a horn or your voice—to let other riders know when you’re about to pass.

Once you’ve reviewed these safety rules, be sure you’re following them at all times. Not only will it set an example for young riders, but it will ensure your safety along with the safety of others around you.

Help Educate Fellow Bikers and Non-Bikers About Rules and Etiquette

Now that you’re aware of common bike safety rules, you can share your knowledge with others. As you gear up for riding this May, make sure anyone else riding with you understands these safety rules. For instance, it might be a no-brainer to wear a helmet, but some riders—especially those who don’t bike often—may not know to call out “On your left” when passing other riders.

It’s also worth discussing these rules and etiquette with non-bicyclers as well. While they may never go riding, they’re likely to encounter other riders, and it’s worth knowing what “On your left” means before a biker passes you.

Print Out Promotional Materials to Share With Friends

If you’re not sure how you can help this National Bike Month, it’s as simple as printing out promotional materials and sharing them with family and friends or on promotional bulletin boards. These materials can cover anything from promoting biking events to sharing infographics covering safe biking practices. If you’re not sure where to get this material, check out BikeLeague.org’s promotional materials for National Bike Month.

Wear a Helmet

It’s one thing to know you should wear a helmet. It’s another to actually put it on. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reports that bicycle helmet use can reduce head injury risk by 85 percent. While it may seem like you don’t need one since you don’t reach high speeds while biking, accidents between cars and bicyclists are a real possibility.

As the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reports, “During the past few years, no more than 17 percent of fatally injured bicyclists were wearing helmets.” This again highlights the importance of helmet use among riders of all ages.

Use Reflectors

PedBikeInfo.org reports that the most common source of injury for bikers is being hit by a car. On average, 69 percent of biker fatalities are in urban areas where there’s a lot of traffic. One way to add an extra layer of safety to your biking practices is to use reflectors. This will help drivers see you more clearly, especially at times of low visibility.

Most bicycles already come with reflectors, but it’s worth testing them out to ensure they function properly. You can also add reflector tape to your pedals and other areas of your bike to ensure a higher level of visibility. You might also consider an electric flashing reflector that will help drivers see you from a distance at night and in fog.

Keep Your Bike in Shape

Not only do you need to protect your body with a helmet and biking gear, but you’ll also want to protect your bicycle. A worn out bike can lead to faulty brakes, broken chains, and other problems that can cause wipeouts and crashes. A few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep bolts, bearings, and chains greased.
  • Test your tire pressure frequently, and pump your tires if needed.
  • Before taking off, test your brakes. Replace your pads once there’s about a ¼ of the pad left.
  • Store your bike in a clean, dry place during the off-season to reduce rust and wear.

If all else fails, take your bicycle into a bike mechanic regularly to ensure everything is in working order. Check out more maintenance tips at REI.com.

Reach Out to Your Government for Better Biking Conditions

If there are a lot of people in your town who bike, it’s important that they’re biking under safe conditions. Oftentimes riders are left to share the road with cars, which can lead to accidents. Other times, sidewalks aren’t wide enough for bikers and pedestrians to share.

If you really want to make a difference this National Bike Month, talk with your local government about creating better biking conditions in your town, such as by adding a bike lane in areas of high traffic. Petitioning for bike lanes close to schools is a good way to encourage students to ride their bikes to school while providing a safe environment to do so.

Volunteer at a National Bike Month Event

National Bike Month is packed with fun events for bikers of all ages. May 15, for instance, is National Bike to Work Day this year, and May 6 is National Bike to School Day. Even if you can’t find a National Bike Month event in your area, you can always plan one yourself! BikeLeague.org shares a guide to helping you plan an event in your neighborhood. Some ideas include bike safety workshops, training classes, and bike races.

Host a Safety Assembly at Your Local School

Whether you’re a student looking to spread the word of safe bicycling or a concerned parent or teacher, you can reach a lot of potential cyclers by hosting a bicycling safety assembly at your school. See if you can get your local district to agree to a presentation. Share statistics, videos, and stories with students, and try to get both teachers and students actively involved.

Participate in a Ride Smart Class

The League of American Bicyclists has been focused on education since the 70s. Their Ride Smart class teaches bikers more about riding, and it helps connect them with other cyclists in their area. Take a look at BikeLeague.org’s map to find a Ride Smart class in your area.

We’re avid cyclists at SPARK PE and believe that safety is a priority for any physical activity. While bikers should be promoting safety practices all year round, National Bike Month helps raise awareness of these issues, and you can leverage this nationwide event to get the word out. What will you do this May to promote safe cycling practices?

Sources:

http://bikeleague.org/bikemonth

http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm

http://www.pedbikeinfo.org/data/factsheet_crash.cfm

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-maintenance.html

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SPARK Announces Dr. Kymm Ballard as New Executive Director

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

SPARK is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Kymm Ballard as next Executive Director of SPARK!  As the world’s most researched and field-tested physical and health education program, SPARK is a key component of School Specialty’s Physical Education offering. Kymm assumes her new role as Executive Director, following her distinguished leadership in the program as Partnership Development Specialist since 2009.  Kymm succeeds Paul Rosengard, the SPARK “Godfather”, who recently retired.

“I would like to congratulate Kymm on her well-deserved promotion and have every bit of confidence in her ability to continue to enhance SPARK programs and our overall growth in the Physical Education (PE) category,” stated Ed Carr, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer. “Kymm has been a strong advocate for physical and health education for decades and brings tremendous operational and managerial experience that serves SPARK and School Specialty well.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Paul for his outstanding service to the program over the years.  We have a strong team in place and together, are committed to building upon SPARK’s leadership position in research-based physical education and advancing our wide assortment of physical education solutions.”

Dr. Ballard’s professional experiences include more than a decade as a PE teacher and athletic director, several years as an administrator and the co-developer of North Carolina’s first high school demonstration school.  She is the former PE, Athletics and Sports Medicine Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction; and has drafted, advocated and promoted the Healthy Active Children Policy of the NC State Board of Education and the state’s Essential Standards for Physical Education. Dr. Ballard also supported the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, and Sport Management (NCAAHPERD-SM) to retool the physical education teachers with SPARK statewide training the trainer model, more currently known as “IsPod” (In School Prevention of Diabetes).

In providing guidance to schools and other national organizations to help secure resources for quality PE programs, she served as the President of the Society of State Directors for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, as well as the Chair for the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Public Relations Committee, among other committees. In addition, Dr. Ballard currently serves as the Coordinator of Health and Physical Education at Campbell University.  In her Partnership Development role at SPARK, she has also been successful in helping to initiate and facilitate millions of dollars to schools to address obesity prevention.

Among the many awards that Dr. Ballard has received are the National P.E. 4 Life Advocate of the Year award for her work in North Carolina and Washington, D.C.; the Physical Education Teacher of the Year and Health Education Teacher of the Year Awards in North Carolina; the North Carolina Coach of the Year; the highest Honor Awards from NCAAHPERD and Society of State Directors for Health, Physical Education and Recreation; the Channing Mann, National Administrator of the Year from NASPE; and lifetime membership to the North Carolina PTA.  She continues to be recognized by her industry peers, health organizations and her SPARK colleagues for her commitment to advancing physical fitness for children.

“I am honored for this opportunity to serve the SPARK program and School Specialty in an even greater capacity and will continue my focus on advancing our physical education solutions for educators and children. With the achievements that SPARK has made over the last 25 years in motivating students to engage in a lifelong love of activity and healthy lifestyle choices, I firmly believe we are well-positioned for future success.  I look forward to working more closely with the team to drive advancements in quality research-based physical education in schools and organizations around the country and world – with the goal of keeping our children and communities strong and productive.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased that Kymm is following in my footsteps and becoming SPARK’s 2nd E.D.!  Placing a physical educator at the wheel demonstrates SPARK’s commitment to developing the best PE resources and doing things the right way; for kids, for teachers, and for public health. I’m excited for our worldwide SPARK family and know SPARK will be bigger and better than ever in the months and years to come,” stated Paul Rosengard.

Please join us in welcoming Kymm as the new SPARK Executive Director!  Follow Kymm on Twitter @KymmBallard and stay up to date with all of the news from SPARK @SPARK_Programs.

Kymm and Annika

Kymm Ballard and women's professional golf icon Annika Sorenstam work together to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children

A Physical Educator Turns 60

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

By Paul Rosengard – SPARK Godfather

If you haven’t already heard, I celebrated my 60th birthday back in January.  And after 36 years in education – PHYSICAL education that is – I decided to hang up my sneakers.  This blog article gives me an opportunity to share a few lessons learned and thank a few of the MANY people who I’ve been so fortunate to meet along the way…

As far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a coach.  I played sports and loved em’ all.  And although I played a little baseball in college, it was clear I was not going to be an athlete at that level.  After all, I was small – but I was slow…

So after my senior year in high school, I started coaching youth teams in football and basketball — and loved it.  At SDSU, I majored in physical education and continued down the teaching and coaching path.  I did my student teaching at San Pasqual High because they had one of the best football coaches in the county, Bob Woodhouse, and I wanted to learn from him and his great staff.  One day I asked Bob what he recommended I study to become a better football coach and he said, “Just one book.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu.”  He gave me my first copy and it helped me think strategically the rest of my life.  I coached football and basketball at San Pasqual and both teams did really well.  In football we lost the CIF championship game (I coached Freshman but scouted for the varsity) and in basketball I worked with Art Warren and our basketball team went to the CIF quarterfinals.

My next student teaching assignment brought me to Crawford High and there I coached Tennis (spring semester) with Jim Sams – who was the school’s basketball coach too.  Both of my student teaching experiences – San Pasqual and Crawford — were great and solidified my career choice.  Teaching physical education and coaching was my passion.  I was doing football and basketball camps during the summers and hanging around a lot of successful veteran coaches – picking their minds and learning the tricks of the trade.  I also had a fantastic Professor in the School of Education, Dr. Paul Erickson.  Paul helped me understand what it really meant to be a teacher and why preparation was so important.

My first full time teaching job came in 1979 in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.  This wasn’t the high school level I wanted to continue at but it was a full time job in one of the best K-8 school districts in the country – and there were no openings anywhere for a PE teacher.  The economy was bad and teaching jobs were almost impossible to find.  I was very lucky and jumped at the opportunity to teach and live in a beautiful area.  I stayed at RSF for 11 years and we had an award winning PE and athletic program.  Our football and basketball teams were really high level and won frequent championships competing with other junior highs many times our size.

As time went on I felt I had done all I could at little RSF and was ready for a new challenge.  I learned of an opening at my alma mater, SDSU.  It was for a head teacher in a new research study called, Project SPARK, and I was intrigued.  In August 1990, I was very fortunate to be offered the position and accepted.  Project SPARK gave me the opportunity to write physical education curriculum and develop resources, lead professional development for teachers, and learn how to provide on-site consultation to schools and staff.  After 5 years, the evaluation data we collected showed what we wrote and applied actually worked, so we thought we’d try and move the research project into a dissemination phase.  I led that effort and SPARK became independent of grant funding in 1994 and started to grow.

While working on SPARK full time, I enjoyed learning from a variety of exciting diversions.  I was the Deputy Director of the CA Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, (big thanks to super leader John Cates), taught future teachers how to teach physical education at UCSD for 11 years, spent a few years as a Leader on the CA State Subject Matter Project for Physical and Health Education, wrote the NikeGO! and Let Me Play curriculum for those projects, and served on a number of Boards.

Over time we continued to do many more research and special projects (M-SPAN, Pathways, TAAG, OPI, POPI, to mention a few) that contributed to the SPARK knowledge base.  Today, SPARK consists of 13 different programs that span Early Childhood to University and adult levels.  I’m so grateful to SPARK for giving me the opportunity to make an impact on a much bigger scale, and to travel and see parts of the U.S. I would have never been to otherwise.  Through SPARK, we’ve been able to impact over 100,000 teachers around the world, and literally millions of students.  Plus, I think we really have put a dent in the PE universe with our advocacy, promotion of MVPA, and support for quality physical education, taught by trained and credentialed physical educators, to ALL students, every day.

Drs. Jim Sallis and Thom McKenzie, the original grantees and Investigators have been my mentors all along the way.  Along with Jim and Thom, SPARK has been a true all-star team of outstanding educators, trainers, and staff, all committed to providing the BEST materials and services to physical educators and physical activity instructors.  I’m excited to pass the baton to the next generation and know they will serve SPARK proudly!  Thanks in advance to current SPARK leaders, Kecia Carrasco, Kymm Ballard, Leticia Gonzalez, Katie Fenton, Jeff Mushkin and Christine Davis for their expertise and commitment to SPARK.

Paul Erickson, Jim Sallis, and Thom McKenzie are my top 3 mentors (who are yours?).  But there have been so many more terrific people who I’ve learned from along the way, far too many to mention, and I’m very grateful!

As I transition away from full time SPARK, I’m looking forward to spending more quality time with Wendy, Scout, and my friends.

I know, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!

– Paul

Paul_Office_2009

[INFOGRAPHIC] Youth & Yoga

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Yoga isn’t just for grown ups anymore. It serves as another fun, physical activity for kids and it has mental and physical benefits. Check out some of these yoga poses in this infographic!

Youth & Yoga - Kids Yoga Poses

Share This Infographic On Your Site

Holiday Message from Paul 2014

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Hi everybody:

Happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at SPARK!

Hard to believe it’s nearly the end of 2014.  Whether you are a preschool teacher, an after school youth leader, a physical education specialist, classroom teacher, or administrator, we know how hard you worked every day this year for your students.

SPARK has been busy too – working for YOU.  Here are just a few of the new resources we created in 2014:

•             SPARKdance DVD – SPARK’s greatest dance hits – music, videos, lesson plans, more, all on 1 DVD for K-12 PE

•             SPARKdance section on SPARKfamily.org (K-12 and After School dances all in one section – extra content free for SPARKers!)

•             Revised our alignments on www.sparkpe.org to reflect the new SHAPE America Physical Education Standards

•             Added new “Fastbreak” videos to SPARKabc’s

•             Launched the SPARK Speakers Bureau!  Now there are 5 Fantastic Workshops available for your next PD day!

•             Created the SPARK 25 Day Challenge!

Our holiday gift to YOU is a promise to continue developing new, innovative tools that help your students learn and you to become the best teacher you can be.

On behalf of all of your friends at SPARK (and Wendy and Scout) have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Paul Rosengard

P.S:  Here’s my favorite picture of Scout in the snow.  Wendy, Scout, and I are going to our favorite mountain town (Idyllwild, CA) over New Year’s.  We hope Scout gets some quality time in the white stuff!

IMG_0057

SPARK Holiday Gift to YOU: 20% PE Equipment Discount!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

School-Specialty-Sportime-Pull-Buoy-Economy-Connecting-Scooter-Boards

Use Promo code 081GOE to receive a 20% discount on SPARK PE equipment from December 1st – December 31st, 2014. Click Here to start shopping!

Promo Details:

Must order online through SPARKstore (Click Here for the SPARKstore)
Valid: 12/1/14 – 12/31/14
EP 20% discount off 9/8 items
LP 40% discount off 9/8 items

Cannot be combined with any other discounts, does NOT apply to sale priced items.
Available in continental U.S. only. Online orders only.

Standard freight policy will apply.

Questions? Contact us at 1-800-SPARK PE or spark@sparkpe.org

Quality Physical Education – Defined by the New SHAPE America Standards

Friday, November 21st, 2014

We are all familiar with SHAPE America goal for physical education, “To develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity.”   But are you aware of the new standards adopted in May?  Our new national standards now include grade level outcomes!  These standards and grade level outcomes are critical in our profession to support teachers everywhere as they strive for accountability.  We physical educators should be held to the same accountability levels as other core subject teachers, and our students should have specific and clearly defined outcomes to strive towards.

The grade-level outcomes are benchmarks that identify what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade.  They serve as a guide for physical educators to use to track students’ progress toward becoming physically literate individuals, which is the overarching goal of the five new National Standards.  These can also be used to show student growth and teacher quality, both important factors in today’s teaching world.  You can purchase the grade – level outcomes through SHAPE America.

In case you have not seen the new National Standards for Physical Education, here they are!

Standard 1
The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2
The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3
The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Standard 4
The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.

Standard 5
The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

SPARK supports and aligns their content and instruction to SHAPE standards and outcomes.  Their research-based programs assist physical educators in implementing a quality physical education program aligned to national and/or state standards.  You can view their SPARK State Standards Alignment page.

SPARK has also updated their lesson plans on SPARKfamily.org for those of you who subscribe.

Thousands of schools and districts have chosen SPARK as their preferred physical education program due to the many resources available to help teachers maximize student outcomes.  Visit their website to learn more – and — take advantage of their free resources!  www.sparkpe.org

SPARK Teams Up with ICAN Foundation

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

SPARK Teams Up with ICAN Foundation to Rush Past Childhood Obesity with New Orleans Saints Running Back Pierre Thomas

Partnership aims to decrease “screen-time” and increase physical activity both during school and after school with quality PE programming and community events

SPARK™, provider of the world’s most-researched physical education programs, is partnering with ICAN Foundation to make an immediate impact on the lives of students in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi. SPARK and ICAN Foundation will work together to help schools and community centers raise funds or apply for and win grants in order to implement SPARK’s high-quality physical education curricula or afterschool program.

SHAPE America recommends that school-aged children receive at least 60-minutes of physical activity per day. This is hard to achieve if students spend most of the eight-hour school day sitting behind desks. SPARK fights this sedentary school model by making classroom instruction, PE classes and after school programs more physically active. Similarly, the increased amount of time youth spend using electronics is impeding on physical activity after school and on the weekends. Through its community programs and initiatives, ICAN Foundation is helping create more active lifestyles to demonstrate how being active can be fun and rewarding.

“After learning about the similarities of our organizations and the fact that SPARK is the number-one research-based health organization in our country, I knew a partnership was necessary,” said Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints running back and founder of ICAN Foundation. “This will be a great opportunity for everyone involved, especially the students.”

“Working with ICAN Foundation is the perfect marriage of ideas for SPARK,” said Paul Rosengard, executive director of SPARK. “With the foundation’s deep community connections in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi, and SPARK’s 25 years of experience in schools nationwide, we make a great team. With a joint goal of increasing the amount of physical activity youth receive every day, we know that together we can make an impact on those communities.”

How Can You Help?
Together, ICAN and SPARK will implement research-based programing to help combat childhood obesity in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi. Your support, partnership, or donation can assist us in our efforts. Please contact us to learn more and support the effort to combat childhood obesity.

Dr. Kymm Ballard
SPARK Partnership Development Manager
(336) 263-3646
kymm.ballard@sparkpe.org

Vincent Calabrese
ICAN Foundation
(312) 285-9384
calabresevm@gmail.com

About ICAN Foundation
ICAN Foundation was founded by Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints running back, in response to the ongoing problem with childhood obesity. ICAN Foundation was established to prevent and educate the children and their parents about the seriousness of childhood obesity in the United States. www.believeican.org

About SPARK
SPARK is a collection of research-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs for educators serving Pre-K through 12th grade students. Since 1989, SPARK has provided curriculum materials, teacher training, and consultation to over 100,000 teachers and youth leaders, representing many thousands of schools, organizations, and agencies worldwide. SPARK also helps educators find physical education grants. For more information on SPARK, visit www.sparkpe.org or email spark@sparkpe.org or call 1-800-SPARK-PE.

ICAN Foundation-1