Spartanburg Schools Use SPARK Curriculum & Physical Activity Breaks to Get Kids Moving



According to a news article from GoUpstate.com, School Administrators, educators, and P.E. teachers in Spartanburg County are recognizing the need to bring more physical activity to schools. In an effort to do so, in 2011, the Mary Black Foundation granted Spartanburg County elementary public schools, St. Paul's Catholic School, and Oakbrook Preparatory funds to implement the SPARK P.E. program--a program that gets kids to be fifty percent more active than what is typically required at schools. In addition to using the SPARK P.E. program, four Spartanburg County schools: O.P Earle, Houston elementary, Cleveland elementary and Hendrix elementary, are working with Project Fit America--a national organization that works with schools to get kids to be more active--to increase the total ...

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SPARK – An Evidence Based Curriculum to Promote Physical Activity



SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids) works to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults, by providing quality Physical Education programs through the SPARK curriculum. Through their evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs, SPARK is reaching children around the country and across the globe. Curriculum materials developed by SPARK have been tested and evaluated and meet the National Association for Sport and Physical Education's (NASPE) standards for PE. In over 50 peer reviewed articles, the program has been shown to improve several health related outcomes for children. Now, according to this SPARK blog post, the Department of Defense has adopted the curriculum to be used for students in ...

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Program in Yuma County Encourages Students to Walk



According to an article from YumaSun.com, obesity levels have dropped at Gary Knox elementary by almost 10 percent, after launching an initiative to track the number of miles students walk. Since the initiative started, students logged a total of 14,371 miles as part of their Mileage Club program, which was created with help from the Yuma Regional Medical Center. Through Mileage Club program, children are encouraged to walk after lunch, during recess, and during family events hosted by the school. Children receive incentives like tokens to wear on a necklace, after reaching certain milestones. Since 2008, the Yuma Regional Medical Center has granted over $155,000 in funds to schools and non-profits in Yuma County, through the Yumans' Obesity Undermines their Health (YOUTH) ...

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Texas PTA School Recess Resolution and Draft Resolution



In this Texas Parent Teachers Association (PTA) resolution for school recess, the Texas PTA describes the benefits and importance of allowing elementary school children to participate in recess. In this resolution, The Texas PTA makes it clear that they support: At least 20 minutes of recess, every day while school is in session; That children receive both recess and physical education classes; Policies developed by school districts to ensure that recess includes unstructured play, that playground equipment is safe, and that an adequate adult to student ratio of 1 adult to 30 students be established; That recess is not withheld from children as a form of disciplinary action.   The Texas Parent Teachers Association Website also includes this recess resolution template ...

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Parents Push for More Recess in New Haven Schools



Parents in New Haven called for change after realizing that children in some schools were not given time for recess. One parent, Tanhee Cookson Muhammad learnedthat her son Enaji was denied the right to recess as a form of punishment. At some schools children only have recess on days that they don’t have PE class. This led Muhammad to join up with a group of local parent advocates, who decided to create a petition as part of a campaign called Recess For All. The petition requests that all public school children, in grades K-8, receive at least 20 minutes of recess a day. Accordingto a state bill passed in 2012, children in grades K-5th are required to receive at least 20 minutes of physical activity throughout the schoolday. Still, not enough schools are enforcing this ...

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World Fit Walk Inspires 38,000 Kids in 50 Schools to Get Moving



The World Fit Walk organization, a program sponsored by Olympic athletes, is working to get children moving in 50 schools across the United States. In a news article, Education Week reports that close to 38,000 students would be logging the amount of miles they walked over the course of a six week period. At the end of the six week period students would compare their results with other schools in the area. Those who log 120 miles or more are eligible to receive the President's Active Lifestyle Achievement Award. To learn more about the World Fit Walk organization visit their webpage and Facebook page. Read about how Daniel Herrera a student from Los Olivos School worked towards achieving his goal by participating in the World Fit Walk ...

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Eliminating Junk Food Fundraisers in North Carolina



The Wake County School Health Advisory Council of North Carolina is proposing that schools eliminate junk food or unhealthy options from school fundraisers, including the sales at sporting events. They believe that by cutting junk food and candy sales, they can help increase the healthy options at all school affiliated events. However the policy remains very controversial and is not being supported by all staff or coaches. The amount of profit brought in each year from the sales at their sporting events make up a major component of the booster club's annual budget. Those who do no support the change do recognize the health benefits for students and the community, but do not believe that they will make enough money to support their athletes if this policy goes into affect. In the ...

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The ActOut Campaign Calls For More Physical Activity in Virginia Public Schools



The ActOut campaign in Virginia, an initiative of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, is raising awareness about the need for more physical activity among youth. Currently at least 1 in 4 youth in Virginia are overweight or obese and the problem is even more grave among Latino children. Health officials in Virginia worry that 1 in 2 Latino children born today will develop diabetes if action is not taken to reverse the obesity epidemic. Although 60 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended for children, 4 out of 5 kids do not meet this recommendation. This is why the ActOut campaign is calling all school districts in Virginia to provide at least 30 minutes of physical education to children. The ActOut Campaign encourages its supporters to get the word out to friends ...

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The CATCH Program Promotes Healthy Lifestyles and Increases Physical Activity for Kids in Texas and the US



The Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program is a school based physical activity and nutrition program that promotes healthy food choices among children. After CATCH was implemented at schools in El Paso and Austin, Texas the program demonstrated that it had the potential to lower obesity in children. Recently, CATCH was recognized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for advancing policies and environmental strategies to control obesity. It has been adopted by schools in all fifty states and now offers early childhood and after school programs. The success of evidence based programs such as CATCH suggest that policies to improve physical activity standards for children, could have the potential to significantly reduce and prevent childhood ...

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