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  • Kindergarten through eighth grade Physical Education (PE) teachers were trained in the SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) curriculum, which shifts the norm in PE classes to small group activities that keep students moving during the majority of class time.
  • Schools collected fitness data, including body mass index (BMI), on their Kindergarten through 9th grade students with FITNESSGRAM software.
  • Worksite wellness health promotion efforts focused on policy and environmental changes, such as adding nutrition labels to items sold in the cafeteria and reducing the cost of health benefits for employees participating in wellness programs.
  • With support of the NC State Board of Education, high school PE teachers were also trained on the SPARK curriculum and additional coordinated school health efforts occurred at the middle and high school levels.

Lessons Learned:

  • Clear communication was needed to ensure that the schools were aware of their responsibilities and that these responsibilities did not change throughout the project.
  • As a "local control" state, local education agencies (LEA) were not required to participate in any component of this program.
  • County coordinators had to "sell" the program to the schools, work within existing school policies and procedures, and protect relationships with the schools that had been nurtured over the years.
  • Schools felt that the time requirements of the intervention components did not always correspond to the time needed within the system to follow school policies and procedures. For example, student surveys and assessments may require parent permission and this takes time.

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