You’re invited! Mark your calendars and sign up for an inspiring March 7th webinar, Making Healthy Eating a Habit… Anywhere Kids Live, Learn, Work and Play. This one hour webinar will be presented by Vickie L. James, Registered, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist and the creator of the award winning Healthy Kids Challenge, now an integral part of School Specialty and SPARK programs. There is no cost.

Please join us to get some simple tips and ideas for integrating nutrition education into kids’ daily world. From classroom to PE, after school and community youth programs, you’ll find SPARK nutrition education resources your “go to” guide for healthy eating for kids!

Attendees will:

  • Understand the value and need for nutrition education for kids.
  • Discover simple ways to implement nutrition education into existing curriculum and youth programs.
  • Learn “edu-tainment” tips to make nutrition education fun for kids.
  • Discover how Healthy Kids Challenge nutrition education materials available through SPARK can be a valuable guide for your teaching needs.

Learn how you can be part of the healthy solution team for child nutrition!

Highlights include answers to questions like:

  • WHERE and HOW do I teach nutrition education?
  • Where can nutrition education find a home? How to deal with the time, tools and other issues.
  • Are you equipped? Understanding quick, simple ways to teach nutrition education in an integrated approach throughout the school day, or in youth programs.

When: Tuesday, March 7th, at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern *Note the special time at 5pm Pacific*

Who: Grades K-8 classroom teachers and administrators, PE specialists, health and science teachers, school food service managers, school wellness council members and after school, summer camp, and youth program teachers and staff.

Duration: 60 Minutes

Cost: Free

Sign up: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8780966321799780609


After almost 20 years of being a leading nonprofit dedicated to developing leaders and environments that help kids and families eat healthy and move more, we are passing the baton to our partners, SPARK and School Specialty (Sportime). This change will help ensure and enhance the viability and vitality of the same quality, research-based nutrition education resources and services for years to come.  See the full press release for MORE information

Healthy Kids Challenge trainingThis training is doing everything right; we are moving and learning! After a couple of hours at other trainings I’ve attended, I usually don’t remember many of the topics discussed.  Today is different.  I remember what my fellow attendees’ favorite fruits and physical activities are because we were moving as we shared our favorites,” Jay Mooney, P.E.P. Grant Coordinator, N. Brookefield, MA.

Jay and fellow KidLinks went away from the training equipped with ideas about how to involve fellow teachers and community members in the P.E.P. Grant activities.  Jay shared, “Many times when I approach a community member or organization about helping to promote physical activity and healthy eating, I am pleasantly surprised to find that they want to help and are looking for ways to be involved with students.”

Learn more about HKC workshops and trainings

SPARK partners with Healthy Lifestyle Choices and Healthy Kids Challenge to create a comprehensive youth health program for TX students. Texas educators love SPARK Coordinated School Health Initiative (CSH)!5_playground (2)

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&.

iStock_000006099045XSmallWant to know how to make healthy balance a top priority for your school or youth program? Make the HKC-SPARK PE connection work for your individual situation, right where you are.

Together HKC and SPARK make perfect sense, offering customized training, curriculum and ongoing support for nutrition education, physical education, and physical activity before, during, and after school. Our partnership engages school and youth group leaders nationwide to energize healthier choices and environments. Click here to learn about our SPARK PE partnership!

“Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum is so much fun! It allows students to develop their nutrition knowledge and practice healthy behaviors at the same time. Students love the hands on opportunity to create a healthy snack and share it with their family. Healthy Kids Challenge curriculum, training, and distance assistance have provided us with the tools to help our students make healthy choices!” – PEP Grant Manager-YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth


May is THE month for Active Play! In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, I challenge you to help kids get more active play by using at least one of the following options:


Active Play Challenge – May Action Idea

  1. Download the Active Play Challenge form and copy enough to give one to each kid.
  2. Explain to the kids that you are going to challenge them to feel good, look great and have fun with minutes in motion during the day!
  3. Hand out the Challenge forms and explain how to track points each day.
  4. Encourage kids to get an to join them in active play, and get extra points. Have the parent/guardian sign the log, and the kids can bring it back to school.
  5. At the end of 1 week, discuss with kids their results.


Family Fun Means Motion – Print this new sheet from our “Active Play, Balance My Day” Healthy6 tip series. It helps you make physical activity fun with tried and true family games! It’s a great way to get the whole family moving.


Partner Spotlight on SPARK

You may have seen this already, but I want to share that this month in our weekly WOWS newsletters, we are featuring some of our Partners In Health. Since I’m already sharing some of our active play ideas here, I thought I’d mention that our partner, SPARK, has free physical activity and P.E. lesson plans online. Check ‘em out!

Early Childhood Physical Activity Lesson Plans

Elementary School Physical Education Lesson Plans

Middle School Physical Education Lesson Plans

High School Physical Education Lesson Plans

From the Big Apple of New York City to sunny California, Healthy Kids Challenge® (HKC) is a shining star in helping PEP grantees create a healthier school environment that lasts far beyond the three year grant award! HKC, a nonprofit with a staff of registered dietitians, is the exclusive nutrition education partner for SPARK, one of the best physical education programs in the world – a true solution to our problem of inactive and poorly nourished kids.

Since nutrition education was added to the PEP grant requirements in 2010, just 3 years ago, Healthy Kids Challenge has assisted over 50 PEP winners. Whether your school is looking to integrate nutrition education into core curriculum and comply with common core/state standards…or challenge your PE teachers with the task of adding nutrition to their PE/health curriculum, our success with guiding schools speaks for itself.

HKC provides training, resources, and technical assistance for:

  • classroom and PE teachers
  • after school staff
  • school wellness councils and
  • community partners.

Customized staff training, comprehensive nutrition education curriculum for grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8 that meets all HECAT (Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool) standards set by CDC, and distance assistance and coaching can all be part of a successful PEP grant award!

Learn more at healthykidschallenge.com or call 1-888-259-6287.

Helpful links:

Healthy Kids Challenge PEP Grant Help

Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Application Info

SPARK 2013 PEP Grant Information

HECAT report for Healthy Kids Challenge

Balance My Day™ Nutrition Curriculum contents and sample pages

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