New We Can!® Partner Adds SPARK to Physical Activity

Girl running while flying kite

Posted June 14‚ 2010

Increasing physical activity—it's one of We Can!'s three critical behaviors for helping keep the whole family at a healthy weight.

It's also the primary focus of new partner SPARK—a research–based, public health organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. SPARK formalized its link with We Can! in March 2010, making it our 45th partner.

SPARK logo

"We're particularly pleased to have SPARK join our distinguished group of partners because its programs are rooted in research funded by the National Institutes of Health," said Karen Donato, We Can! Program Coordinator. "The original SPARK study began examining the importance of elementary physical activity in 1989, and was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, in conjunction with San Diego State University."

The breadth of SPARK's research activities and programming has grown steadily over the past two decades. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified it as a national model for programs designed to increase physical activity and overcome childhood weight challenges.

In addition, SPARK has reached more than 100,000 teachers and youth leaders by disseminating evidence–based physical activity and nutrition programs that provide curricula, staff development, follow-up support, and equipment to teachers of pre–K through 12th grade students, nationally and globally.

Now, as a We Can! partner, SPARK will introduce its programs at We Can! Regional Trainings, and make SPARK materials available at a discount for We Can! community sites through School Specialty. If you are interested in running SPARK, consider ordering the following programs that are relevant to the We Can! target age group:

  • Physical Education (K-12)
  • After School (Ages 5-14)
  • In addition, SPARK provides a number of free resources to We Can! community sites, including webinar series, monthly eNewsletters, blogs, grant resources, guidance on standards alignment, publications, and more. Visit for more details.

Last Updated: February 13, 2013