McKenzie, T. L, Sallis, J. F, Rosengard, P. & Ballard, K. (2016). The SPARK programs: A public health model of physical education research and dissemination. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education,35(4), 381-389. United States of America: Human Kinetics Publishers Inc.. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.2016-0100
SPARK [Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids], in its current form, is a brand that represents a collection of exemplary, research-based, physical education and physical activity programs that emphasize a highly active curriculum, on-site staff development, and follow-up support. Given its complexity (e.g., multiple school levels, inclusion of both physical education and self-management curricula), SPARK features both diverse instructional and diverse curricular models. SPARK programs were initially funded by the NIH as two separate elementary and middle school intervention studies, and the curriculum and instructional models used in them embody the HOPE (Health Optimizing Physical Education) model. This paper reviews background information and studies from both the initial grants (1989–2000) and the dissemination (1994-present) phases of SPARK, identifies program evolution, and describes dissemination efforts and outcomes. Procedures used in SPARK may serve as models for others interested in researching and disseminating evidence-based physical education and physical activity programs.
Institute for Health and Ageing
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