State Public Health Grant & SPARK

Why Should Your State Department of Health  Partner with SPARK?
  • SPARK (originally funded by the National Institutes of Health in 1989) offers proven, research-based solutions for increasing the quantity and quality of daily physical activity as well as improving nutrition.
  • SPARK elementary physical education is the only nationally disseminated program that positively affects ALL of these student outcomes: activity levels (moderate to vigorous surpasses 50% of class time), fitness, sport skills, enjoyment, and academic achievement.
  • The SPARK staff of researchers and educators has 20 years of successful experience working at state, community, and district levels in both urban and rural areas; and with a variety of cultures and demographics (including state-wide adoption and city-wide Department of Health initiatives).
  • SPARK has extensive Awards & Honors, including being cited in the Surgeon General’s Report as a “School-based solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis” and identified as a successful model for combating childhood obesity in the report, “Fighting Obesity: What Works, What’s Promising” by the HSC Foundation.
  • SPARK is the partner you need to implement your policy change. If you pass a policy to increase MVPA time in PE to over 50%– SPARK is proven to implement this strategy. If you pass a policy for more physical activity time, your teachers will need staff development in working with obese children, and SPARK is cited as a proven obesity prevention strategy. If policy is passed to mandate a curriculum, SPARK offer research and standards based curriculum that has proven to work and last.
SPARK Alignment to the CDC Funding Outcomes:

Click Here to download a detailed document that will explain how you can use SPARK to align with the goals of the CDC State Public Health funding. This document also shows SPARK alignment to CDC’s "Long-Term Measures for Addressing Physical Activity and Nutrition" and CDC Prevention Outcomes.

Additional Resources:

Click Here to read how North Carolina successfully implemented the SPARK Programs to fight childhood obesity state-wide.

Click Here for CDC’s report “School-Based Physical Education: An Action Guide”. This document may provide guidance in determining your community’s approach to increasing physical activity. SPARK is mentioned throughout the report as an evidence-based program that increases the quality and quantity of activity for all students.

Click Here for CDC’s Strategies to Improve Quality Physical Education.  SPARK is cited throughout the report and aligns perfectly with the two key strategies to increase student time in MVPA during PE class: 1) Implement a well-designed curriculum and 2) Provide teachers with appropriate training and supervision.

SPARK is presented in scope & sequence, and provides alignment for PreK-12th grade curriculum. Click Here to view the complete Scope & Sequence. Click Here to view the SPARK state standards alignment.

Click Here to view a document showing how the SPARK Early Childhood program aligns with the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS).

Click Here for SPARK’s alignment to the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and PALA+ for Physical Education and After School programs.

Click Here for the National Physical Activity Plan’s policy ideas and recommendations for Education, Parks, Recreation, Sports and Fitness.

Next Steps:

Contact SPARK (800-283-5700 or We'll ask you a few questions, learn about your current program, and listen to your vision for creating a healthy community. Together, we'll create a program that will work and be sustainable.