Pre School PE Equipment, Teacher Training and Curriculums
Early Childhood Curriculum

SPARK Early Childhood Research

The SPARK Early Childhood (EC) program being disseminated today applies the lessons learned from rigorous research and subsequent field-testing in the "real-world”.  SPARK EC is designed to provide children ages 3-5 with high activity, academically integrated, enjoyable movement opportunities that foster social and motor development and enhance school readiness skills.

Note: The numbers after each outcome correlate to the project/paper references that follow.

  • Experience with large implementations (e.g., NYC) 823 sites, 3,838 staff trained via 147 workshops (2)
  • Experience with minority children at high risk of overweight/obesity (3)
  • After SPARK EC training 91% of respondents reported using SPARK EC curriculum in their classrooms (2)
  • On average, teachers taught a SPARK lesson 3x per week (2)
  • In daycare settings, the amount of structured PA time increased significantly after teachers participated in SPARK training (2)
  • Full-day teachers, median time increased from 78-100 min. per week.  Half-day median time increased from 60-78 min. per week (2)
Changes in Health Behaviors
  • Reduced screen time (1)
  • Reduced consumption of fast and junk foods (1)
  • Increase in overall healthy choices and food scores on the child assessment (1)
  • Frequency of junk food consumption decreased among overweight children (1)
  • Parent reports on normal weight children showed children’s duration of PA increased significantly (1)
  • Increase in levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity during EC session time (4)
Changes in Body Composition
  • Overweight and obese children BMI (N=96 or 26% of students) decreased (1)
  • Mean BMI at beginning of year was 91.43, end of year 83.60 (1)
Selected references:
  • Healthy for Life Study – St. Josephs Health System, CA, 2011 (1)
  • NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene studies, NY, 2005-2007 (2)
  • State Dept. of Health study on Childhood Obesity in New York State 2004 (3)
  • University of Tennessee, Memphis Head Start study in Title 1 schools, TN, 1998 (4)