Sportime featuring SPARK, the award-winning physical activity equipment and PE curriculum brand of School Specialty, Inc., in celebration of Sportime’s 50th anniversary and in partnership with Let’s Move! Active Schools, is proud to announce that it has awarded 50 Let’s Move! Active Schools Activation Grants to schools nationwide to help students get active before, during, and after school.
Let’s Move! Active Schools is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day is the norm in K-12 schools. The initiative is powered by a national collaborative of 35 health, education and private sector organizations that work together through the collective impact framework to help schools create Active School environments for children.
The 50 grant recipients were selected out of more than 500 applications that were received from schools across the country. Applications were submitted by Physical Education Teachers, Health Teachers, Classroom Teachers, Wellness Coordinators, Principals, PTA Members, and other members of the education community.
Applicants expressed the need for physical education curriculum – many teachers do not have any curricular materials for physical education and have to create their own lesson plans and assessments – as well as a variety of equipment to help engage large class sizes, including students with special needs, and to introduce lifelong activities other than traditional sports. Applicants also aim to increase activity throughout the school day by integrating physical activity into classrooms and before/after school programs.
“We are very proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sportime this year by giving back to schools in need of materials and tools for developing their physical activity and wellness programs,” stated Dr. Kymm Ballard, Executive Director of SPARK. “Through our strategic partnership with Let’s Move! Active Schools, we are providing innovative resources including evidence-based curriculum, teacher training and equipment to help students maximize their activity not just during school but also in their before and after school lives, enabling them to build all-round healthy lifestyles that can be carried into adulthood. We congratulate all the grant winners and look forward to their programs being a success!”
Grant applications were accepted April 1- April 30, 2016 and K-12 schools in the United States were eligible to apply. As a requirement of the grant, schools must be enrolled with Let’s Move! Active Schools and have completed the school assessment by the application deadline.
The 50 awarded schools will receive a grade-level specific SPARK Curriculum set that includes the SPARK manual, music CD, and 3-year access to SPARKfamily.org. Each SPARK program is research-based and provides hundreds of lesson plans aligned to state and national physical education standards, assessments, task and skill cards in English and Spanish, videos, dances, and more. The awarded schools will also receive a $100 voucher to purchase physical activity equipment from Sportime.