FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPARKuniversity Offers Resources for Students Studying to be Elementary or Secondary Physical Education Teachers

University methods professors use SPARKuniversity to deliver evidence-based physical education to the next generation of PE teachers

San Diego, CA, April 18, 2012 — SPARK™, provider of the world’s most-researched and field-tested physical education programs and a division of School Specialty, is now offering SPARKuniversity for students studying to be elementary and secondary school PE teachers. SPARKuniversity is a robust digital library of evidence-based learning tools designed to help pre-service teachers’ foster positive student learning environments, instruct a variety of innovative fitness units, maximize skill development, integrate motivating technologies, and promote physical activity out of school. When these resources are coupled with SPARK’s unique teaching strategies, future physical educators receive the content and instructional knowledge they need to begin their careers far ahead of peers not trained in SPARK. Research shows SPARK is more inclusive, active and enjoyable than traditional approaches, and implementing SPARK concepts and methods maximizes student outcomes such as: activity levels during class and away from school, physical fitness, sport skills, academic achievement, and enjoyment of PE.

“Quality Physical Education instruction is essential to ensure students become competent and confident movers – and the data show that SPARK does this more effectively than other programs. With SPARKuniversity, future teachers receive the requisite tools and skills to become efficacious instructors. We believe properly prepared teachers are vital to students learning how to become health-conscious adults.” said Paul Rosengard, Executive Director at SPARK, and one of the program’s founding authors and scholars.

SPARKuniversity includes ready-to-use assignments with printable guidelines, rubrics and other tools. It also includes current industry-specific articles and research, blogs, a monthly eNewsletter, a monthly webinar series, and opportunities to connect with other students through social media.

“The SPARKuniversity e-text is now a required resource for my undergraduate students who aspire to be teachers, coaches, and recreational leaders,” said Dwayne Sheehan, Professor for the Department of Physical Education and Recreation Studies at Mount Royal University. “Effective instructional strategies and thoughtful lesson progressions support the development of fundamental movement skills and the pursuit of physical literacy. Each lesson is presented in a simple and consistent format. Both elementary pre-service generalists and physical education specialists will find this resource invaluable.”

SPARKuniversity is available for university methods instructors and pre-service teachers studying to be PE teachers of students (K-6) or (6-12). SPARK is dedicated to creating, implementing and promoting lifelong wellness. To learn more about the most researched and field-tested physical education program in the world, call 800-SPARK-PE or E-mail: spark@sparkpe.org

About SPARK
SPARK is a collection of research-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs for educators serving Pre-K through 12th grade students. Since 1989, SPARK has provided curriculum materials, teacher training, and consultation to over 100,000 teachers and youth leaders, representing many thousands of schools, organizations, and agencies worldwide. SPARK also helps educators find physical education grants. For more information on SPARK, visit http://www.sparkpe.org or email spark(at)sparkpe(dot)org or call 1-800-SPARK-PE.

About School Specialty
School Specialty (NASDAQ: SCHS) is a leading education company that provides innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to help educators engage and inspire students of all ages and abilities to learn. The company designs, develops, and provides PreK-12 educators with the latest and very best curriculum, supplemental learning resources, and school supplies. For more information about School Specialty, visit www.schoolspecialty.com.

Media Contacts:

Billy Beltz
SPARK Marketing Director
800-772-7573 x2247
Billy.Beltz@schoolspecialty.com

Kati Elliott
Public Relations for SPARK
410-975-9638
Kati@kehcomm.com

Katherine Russo
Public Relations for SPARK
410-975-9638
Katherine@kehcomm.com

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