Twenty Tennessee Schools Awarded BlueCross Shape the State Grants Worth $10,000 Each

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded Shape the State® physical education grants to twenty Tennessee schools serving middle grades students.

The schools awarded 2017 Shape the State grants are:

• Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte
• Forge Ridge School, Harrogate
• Grace Christian Academy of Leipers Fork, Franklin
• Hampshire Unit School, Hampshire
• Hollow-Rock Bruceton Special School District, Bruceton
• Jefferson Middle School, Jefferson City
• Jere Baxter Middle School, Nashville
• Jonesborough Middle School, Jonesborough
• Madonna Learning Center, Germantown
• Northview Middle School, Newbern
• Northwest Middle School, Knoxville
• Norwood Middle School, Oliver Springs
• Pine View School, Rockwood
• Rhea Middle School, Evensville
• Ross N Robinson Middle School, Kingsport
• Sunbright School, Sunbright
• T.A. Dugger Junior High School, Elizabethton
• Tennessee School for the Blind, Nashville
• Thurgood Marshall Middle Prep, Antioch
• York Elementary, Jamestown

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.

SPARK provides a variety of inclusive activities that students can enjoy together, regardless of their level of athletic ability.

“We have awarded 20 Shape the State grants each year since 2011, and the results from previous grant winners have been overwhelmingly positive,” said Chelsea Johnson, interim director of the BlueCross Health Foundation. “We know physical education will be transformed at these latest schools as well – we look forward to watching the teachers and students achieve success together.”

This fall, faculty and staff from the 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 hundreds of pieces of exercise equipment.

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 country.

To learn how SPARK is improving PE for middle schools around the state, visit

Shape the State 2017 Winners
Shape the State 2017 grant winners map

About BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THF awards grants focused on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of life of Tennesseans for generations to come.

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