SPARK, Healthy Chesapeake’s newest program, launched during the summer of 2017. As a combination of the Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyles programs, SPARK provides opportunities for low-income youth to become more physically active and eat healthier foods. SPARK combines the youth physical activity and healthy eating education piece with our student employment program, who are recruited as our student leaders for SPARK. For the summer, the SPARK program took place at the Broadlawn Community Center and the Rivers Apartment Complex office. Both Broadlawn and the Rivers were our pilot communities. The students, who participated in SPARK, filled out a physical activity passport in order to receive achievement medals at the end of the summer. The medals were distributed at the Summer Final Jamboree which included a pool party.
The SPARK program has expanded to include an afterschool component scheduled to launch in the spring of 2018. This version of SPARK provides students with activities, educational opportunities, and homework time outside of school hours in an effort to increase the students physical activity and healthy eating habits. We are excited for the expansion of our successful SPARK program!