- Author: Nath Say
The UC CalFresh team participated in the SPARK Early Childhood Training at the Merced County Department of Public Health on Thursday, July 30, 2015, and it was a hit!
What is SPARK? "SPARK is a research-based, public organization dedicated to creating, implementing, and evaluating programs that promote lifelong wellness. The program strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Healthy programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students."
Participants who attended the interactive training engaged in many different physical activities such as dancing, moving like animals and tossing the parachute. Most activities included music and encouraged teachers to always involve every student in the classroom.
SPARK's enthusiastic trainer, Ken McFadden, has been an educator for 49 years. His expertise plays an instrumental role in training teachers on how to implement fun physical activities throughout the school day. He did a great job suggesting different classroom management skills we could use in our instruction.
SPARK introduces many ways to incorporate different games with the traditional parachute. Mr. McFadden showed participants a game called "Class Portrait" where students get a good laugh at seeing only their classmate's "head shot" of the portrait from under the parachute.
We were excited to see that a couple of our teachers from Fresno Unified also attended the training. Mrs. Maria Zamora (right), pictured with Nutrition Coordinator Nath Say, is a Pre-K teacher at Rowell Elementary School. She looks forward to incorporating what she's learned inside her classroom! Mrs. Trujillo from Leavenworth elementary also attended but is not pictured.
Special thanks to Champions for Change, the California Department of Public Health's Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch, and our trainer, Ken McFadden for putting together a great workshop! The UC CalFresh program is excited to receive new resources that we may use alongside our curricula.