‘SPARKing’ health champions at WSU Spokane CityLab

The Spokane Tribe of Indians and WSU Spokane CityLab have teamed up to encourage healthy activities among Native American children.

With $29,000 in grant support from the Group Health Community Foundation, an after-school and summer program will be established to complement and enhance in-school learning experiences and encourage nutritious health habits.

The Spokane Tribe of Indians and WSU Spokane CityLab will implement “Full Court Press: Creating Health Champions” as a model for physical education (PE) and nutrition intervention for elementary Native American children.

Full Court Press combines SPARK (Sports, Play, and Active Recreation for Kids), a nationally tested non-competitive K-12 PE program, with hands-on science/nutrition activities to provide a year-round early intervention model for Tribal children.

The primary focus of the program is three-fold: develop trained community youth leaders to lead after-school and summer programming; implement the SPARK PE and hands-on nutrition programs in after-school health clubs and summer health camps; and engage parents as active participants in their children’s exploration of healthy physical and nutritional behaviors.

“We are very excited about this unique opportunity to partner with the Spokane Tribe of Indians in their ongoing programs in support of healthy activities for their children,” said Sylvia Oliver, director of WSU Spokane CityLab.

WSU Spokane CityLab staff members have implemented many successful programs to enhance K-12 science, math and health education since 1995. These programs, supported by nearly $700,000 in federal, state and private funds, have strengthened awareness and workforce readiness by providing support and instruction to hundreds of teachers and thousands of students throughout the Pacific Northwest.