CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Twenty Tennessee schools serving middle grade students have been awarded Shape the State grants from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation to upgrade their physical education programs.
The grants, valued at $10,000 each, provide the nationally acclaimed SPARK physical education (PE) curriculum, teacher training and equipment for each recipient school. In addition, each school will receive $1,000 to spend on PE, nutrition and wellness efforts.
“We’re thrilled to be able to help transform PE at these schools,” said Dawn Abel, BlueCross director of community relations and foundations. “Since 2011 we’ve seen nothing but positive results from the 100 schools that have received Shape the State grants.”
SPARK focuses less on traditional team sports, and more on fun, active games that all students can enjoy together, regardless of their level of athleticism.
This fall, faculty and staff from the latest Shape the State schools will gather for training from SPARK professionals to learn how to use the program with their students. In addition, they will receive complete SPARK curriculum materials, as well as 800 pieces of accompanying equipment, ranging from the odd – rubber chickens – to more traditional items, such as soccer balls.
SPARK was launched in 1989 after being developed by researchers at San Diego State University. Since then, its evidence-based curriculum has been used in public schools, YMCAs and other settings across the nation.
The schools awarded 2016 Shape the State grants are:
- Big Sandy School, Camden
- Christian Academy of Campbell County, LaFollette
- Clinton Middle School, Clinton
- Collinwood Middle School, Collinwood
- East End Elementary School, Humboldt
- F.H. Jenkins Preparatory School, Nashville
- Grace Christian Academy, Knoxville
- Heritage Christian Academy, New Tazewell
- Jefferson Middle School, Oak Ridge
- Lakeview Elementary School, New Johnsonville
- Lara Kendall Elementary School, Ridgely
- Lexington Middle School, Lexington
- McKenzie Middle School, McKenzie
- Midway Middle School, Ten Mile
- Silverdale Baptist Academy, Chattanooga
- William James Middle School, White Bluff
- Wilson Elementary School, Crawford
- W.O. Inman Middle School, Paris
- V.G. Hawkins Middle School, Hendersonville
- Yorkville School, Yorkville
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide peace of mind through better health. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on serving more than 3.3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at bcbst.com.