Germantown Elementary Becomes Model School for Maryland Community Health Initiative
Annapolis school implements SPARK Physical Education curriculum to promote wellness and fight childhood obesity
San Diego, CA, April 2, 2013 — In an effort to instill healthy habits in students, Germantown Elementary in Annapolis, Md., has implemented a new physical education program developed by SPARK™, provider of the world’s most-researched and field-tested physical education program. The training, curriculum and equipment received as part of the new program was funded through the Center for Disease Control’s ACHIEVE grant, the Germantown Elementary Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) and the Ravens Foundation’s Plan in Motion grant.
The SPARK Physical Education (PE) programs strive to introduce the importance of physical activity at a young age. By using inclusive and engaging activities during both PE and general instruction, the SPARK curriculum encourages students to not only participate in activities, but to understand the benefits of adding physical activity to their daily routine. Germantown Elementary is using the SPARK Early Childhood, K-2, 3-6 and After School curriculum programs.
“In Kindergarten, students need physical breaks all the time,” said Sara Holbrook, Kindergarten teacher at Germantown Elementary. “They need time in between subjects, and even during lessons, to release energy and refocus. It is very easy to incorporate any SPARK activity into our classroom.”
The school has also implemented an organized recess volunteer program three times a week. Parents are encouraged to lead SPARK activities during recess time to ensure that students are receiving quality physical activity during their recess.
The implementation at Germantown Elementary is just the beginning of a city-wide initiative to fight childhood obesity through proper nutrition and increased physical activity for city youth being administrated by the Annapolis Community Health Initiative (ACHI), an organization consisting of community partners from the Anne Arundel Medical Center, City of Annapolis Recreation and Parks, Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Annapolis Pediatrics Group and The Pediatric Group.
“Germantown Elementary is our pilot school,” said Jean Keegan, Health Education Assistant for the Women’s Education Department at Anne Arundel Medical Center. “We hope to increase physical activity like this in all Annapolis schools.”
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 educational resources, teacher training, and consultation to over 100,000 teachers and youth leaders, representing many thousands of schools, organizations, and agencies worldwide. For more information on SPARK, visit www.sparkpe.org or call 1-800-SPARK-PE.
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Public Relations for SPARK
Public Relations for SPARK