SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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The Texas Education Agency Approves the SPARK Coordinated School Health Program

SPARK partners with Healthy Lifestyle Choices and Healthy Kids Challenge to create a comprehensive youth health program for TX students

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SPARK™, provider of the world's most-researched physical education programs, was selected by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as one of only three state-approved Coordinated School Health (CSH) Programs for students in grades K-8. The SPARK CSH program gives districts tools to provide physical education and physical activity, as well as health education and nutrition education, in order to create a comprehensive student health program. When implemented in a coordinated fashion, it has been proven to improve student health parameters and thus counter childhood obesity.

"The SPARK PE Curriculum has become an essential piece of our elementary physical education programs," said Danielle Housley, MPH Healthy Start Project Facilitator at Northside Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas. "The research-based SPARK concepts and lessons have proven to be an invaluable resource in our quest to revamp our K-2 and 3-6 Scope and Sequence. In addition, access to SPARKfamily.org has empowered our teachers to become better educators."

"We have been thrilled to incorporate the SPARK resources into our physical education curriculum," said Misty Stevens, Physical Education Coordinator at Frisco Independent School District in Frisco, Texas. "The energy created by the on-site trainers has provided us great opportunities to see the program put into motion! SPARK is a great tool whether you need a new way to teach a skill or a different approach for game management."

The SPARK CSH program includes active curriculum, on-site staff development, expert consultation, and content-matched equipment for each of its three content areas. The program incorporates SPARK's own research-based physical education and physical activity lessons to meet the SHAPE America National Standards and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for physical education. The health education elements were developed by Healthy Lifestyle Choices (HLC), a cross-curricular program that focuses on goal setting and decision making as it relates to fitness, nutrition, conflict resolution, safety and substance-abuse prevention. The nutrition education component was developed by Healthy Kids Challenge (HKC), a research-based curriculum that addresses food choice, portion sizes, active play, energy balance, body image and weight management. HKC is aligned with the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) Healthy Eating Behavior outcomes and standards.

"All of us at SPARK are thankful for the opportunity to bring the SPARK Coordinated School Health program to students and teachers in the great state of Texas," said Paul Rosengard, Executive Director of SPARK. "We are passionate about providing Texas teachers with the most effective instructional materials and services, as well as the highest level of follow up support. Our staff in Texas will ensure SPARK users and adopters are successful and implement programs that are sustainable over time."

To learn more about the SPARK CSH program and the recent TEA approval, join SPARK's free informational webinar on Wednesday, September 10th at 3:30 PM Central. Register at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/866072778.

To learn more about the SPARK Coordinated School Health Initiative in Texas, visit http://www.sparkpe.org/coordinated-school-health/tx-coordinated-school-health/

To learn more about the Texas Education Agency approved Coordinated School Health Programs, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=2147483874&.

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 http://www.sparkpe.org or email spark(at)sparkpe(dot)org or call 1-800-SPARK-PE.

SOURCE SPARK

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