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SPARK Programs Honored With President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SPARK, the premier physical education brand of School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) ("School Specialty" or "the Company") which is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace, today announced that the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) has selected the SPARK Programs as a 2014 PCFSN Community Leadership Award honoree. The award is given annually to individuals or organizations who improve the lives of others within their community by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs.

As the world's most field-tested physical education program, the Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids (SPARK) provides teachers and schools with curricula and training that improve standard PE and health-related activities to promote lifelong wellness. The program is being recognized by the President's Council for the impact it has made on over one million children, including its vital role in obesity prevention programs in communities nationwide. The award also honors more than 25 years of research, scholarship and program development by the SPARK Principals, Dr. Thom McKenzie, Dr. Jim Sallis and Paul Rosengard.

"SPARK has worked to consistently promote the importance of physical activity, sports and/or good nutrition throughout the community," stated Shellie Pfohl, executive director of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. "Because of SPARK's efforts and contributions, our communities can embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Together we are all working to make our nation a healthier one."

Dr. McKenzie commented, "We appreciate this esteemed recognition of the SPARK Programs by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Overwhelming evidence shows the great impact that physical activity has on reducing the risk for serious public health problems including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes."

Dr. Jim Sallis added, "Finding ways to increase our children's physical activity will enable future generations of adults to be healthier and enjoy a better quality of life, and will help our communities better manage healthcare demands and costs."

"I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to SPARK over the years; past and current teammates, and each of the over 100,000 teachers we've had the privilege to work with," stated Executive Director, Paul Rosengard. "SPARK will remain committed to developing innovative and relevant resources for physical educators and physical activity leaders."

This year, the President's Council presented the Community Leadership Award to 44 recipients across the country for making sports, physical activity, fitness, and nutrition-related programs available in their communities.

About the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

The President's Council educates, engages and empowers all Americans to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and good nutrition. PCFSN is a committee of volunteer citizens who advise the President through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Through its partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, PCFSN promotes programs and initiatives that motivate people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to lead active, healthy lifestyles. For more information about the Council, visit and follow us on Twitter @FitnessGov.

About SPARK and School Specialty, Inc.

SPARK is a premier physical education brand of School Specialty, Inc., a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. School Specialty designs, develops, and provides educators with the latest and very best school supplies, furniture and both curriculum and supplemental learning resources. Working in collaboration with educators, the Company reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. For more information about School Specialty and its brands, visit

CONTACT: Media Relations Contact:
         Dionne ManchesterGW Communications (for School Specialty Inc.)
         Tel: 212-786-6068

School Specialty, Inc.

School Specialty, Inc.