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Sportime featuring SPARK Partners with Let’s Move! Active Schools to Award 50 Activation Grants to Schools Across the U.S. in Support of their Physical Education and Activity Programs

GREENVILLE, Wis., May 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sportime featuring SPARK, the award-winning physical activity equipment and PE curriculum brand of School Specialty, Inc. (OTCQB:SCOO) (“School Specialty”, “SSI” or “the Company”), in celebration of Sportime’s 50th anniversary and in partnership with Let’s Move! Active Schools, is proud to announce today that it has awarded 50 Let’s Move! Active Schools Activation Grants to schools nationwide to help students get active before, during, and after school.

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Let’s Move! Active Schools is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative dedicated to ensuring 60 minutes of physical activity a day is the norm in K-12 schools. The initiative is powered by a national collaborative of 35 health, education and private sector organizations that work together through the collective impact framework to help schools create Active School environments for children.

The 50 grant recipients were selected out of more than 500 applications that were received from schools across the country. Applications were submitted by Physical Education Teachers, Health Teachers, Classroom Teachers, Wellness Coordinators, Principals, PTA Members, and other members of the education community.

Applicants expressed the need for a physical education curriculum – many teachers do not have any curricular materials for physical education and have to create their own lesson plans and assessments – as well as a variety of equipment to help engage large class sizes, including students with special needs, and to introduce lifelong activities other than traditional sports. Applicants also aim to increase activity throughout the school day by integrating physical activity into classrooms and before/after school programs.

“We are very proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sportime this year by giving back to schools in need of materials and tools for developing their physical activity and wellness programs,” stated Dr. Kymm Ballard, Executive Director of SPARK. “Through our strategic partnership with Let’s Move! Active Schools, we are providing innovative resources including evidence-based curriculum, teacher training and equipment to help students maximize their activity not just during school but also in their before and after school lives, enabling them to build all-round healthy lifestyles that can be carried into adulthood. We congratulate all the grant winners and look forward to their programs being a success!”

Grant applications were accepted April 1- April 30, 2016 and K-12 schools in the United States were eligible to apply. As a requirement of the grant, schools must be enrolled with Let’s Move! Active Schools and have completed the school assessment by the application deadline.

The 50 awarded schools will receive a grade-level specific SPARK Curriculum set that includes the SPARK manual, music CD, and 3-year access to  Each SPARK program is research-based and provides hundreds of lesson plans aligned with state and national physical education standards, assessments, task and skill cards in English and Spanish, videos, dances, and more.  The awarded schools will also receive a $100 voucher to purchase physical activity equipment from Sportime.

The 50 Awarded Schools are: 

School Name School District City State SPARK Program Awarded
Southern Hills Elementary School Oklahoma City Public Schools Oklahoma City OK SPARKabc’s Classroom Activity & Recess
Nova Eisenhower Broward Davie FL SPARKabc’s Classroom Activity & Recess
Elk Meadow Elementary Bend/La Pine Bend OR SPARKabc’s Classroom Activity & Recess
Joella C. Good Elementary Miami-Dade County Public Schools Hialeah FL After School
Park Elementary Holbrook Unified School District #3 Holbrook AZ After School
Thomasville High School Thomasville City Schools Thomasville NC High School PE
Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering and Physical Sciences Bridgeport New Milford CT High School PE
Southern School of Energy and Sustainability Durham Public Schools Durham NC High School PE
Madison High School Portland Public Schools Portland OR High School PE
Hale County High School Hale County Moundville AL High School PE
Castleberry High School Castleberry ISD River Oaks TX High School PE
Cesar Chavez Middle School Oceanside Unified School District Oceanside CA Middle School PE
Lockhart Middle School Orange Orlando FL Middle School PE
North Hall Middle Hall County Gainesville GA Middle School PE
Loma Vista Alvord USD Riverside CA Middle School PE
Honiss Elementary School Dumont Dumont NJ Middle School PE
Henderson Co. South Middle School Henderson Co. Henderson KY Middle School PE
Crayton Middle School Richland One Columbia SC Middle School PE
Bendle Middle School Bendle Public Schools Burton MI Middle School PE
Suwannee Intermediate School Suwannee Live Oak FL 3-6 PE
Jose Damian Elementary Canutillo Independent School District El Paso TX 3-6 PE
C.C. Hardy Elementary Willis ISD Willis TX 3-6 PE
George F. Johnson Elementary Union-Endicott Central School District Endicott NY 3-6 PE
Carman Elementary Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD San Juan TX 3-6 PE
Rock Springs Elementary Orange Apopka FL 3-6 PE
Lake Gem Elementary Orange County Public Schools Orlando FL 3-6 PE
Palmer Lake Elementary Osseo ISD#279 Brooklyn Park MN 3-6 PE
Knox Elementary Selma City Selma AL 3-6 PE
Morris Avenue Intermediate Opelika City Schools Opelika AL 3-6 PE
Rabun County Elementary School Rabun Tiger GA 3-6 PE
Prairie Trail School Gurnee SD56 Wadsworth IL 3-6 PE
Montclair Elementary Corpus Christi ISD Corpus Christi TX 3-6 PE
Mark Twain Elementary School Chicago Public Schools #299 Chicago IL 3-6 PE
Alice B. Beal Elementary School Springfield Springfield MA 3-6 PE
Paradise Education Center Paradise Schools Surprise AZ 3-6 PE
Tulip Grove Elementary Metro Davidson County Hermitage TN 3-6 PE
W. O. Parmer Elementary School Butler County Board Of Education Greenville AL K-2 PE
Madison Elementary School Los Angeles Unified School District South Gate CA K-2 PE
Saegert Elementary KISD Killeen TX K-2 PE
Western Elementary School Western CUSD 12 Barry IL K-2 PE
Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary Huntsville City Huntsville AL K-2 PE
Richman Elementary School Fullerton School District Fullerton CA K-2 PE
Dannelly Elementary Montgomery Public Schools Montgomery AL K-2 PE
Keizer Elementary Salem-Keizer School District Keizer OR K-2 PE
Bentley Primary School USD440 Halstead-Bentley Bentley KS K-2 PE
Elizabeth D. Redd Elementary School Richmond Public Schools Richmond VA K-2 PE
JE Moss Elementary MNPS Antioch TN K-2 PE
Pacific Blvd School Los Angeles Unified School District Huntington Park CA K-2 PE
Santiago Garcia Elementary Edcouch Elsa ISD Edcouch TX K-2 PE
PS 36x Unionport New York City Public Schools Bronx NY K-2 PE

About Sportime and SPARK 
Sportime and SPARK are the two premier physical education brands of School Specialty, Inc., a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. Physical fitness is critical to student success and the Company’s products, including Sportime PE Equipment and innovative physical education curriculum from SPARK are carefully selected to enhance physical development, help children enjoy physical activity and show them how to be active throughout their lifetime. Through Sportime’s complete selection of high-quality fitness and sports equipment, including balls, jump ropes, and bean bags, we are able to help educators engage and energize students to get active today and sustain a healthy lifestyle tomorrow.

For more information on Sportime featuring SPARK, go to Follow us on social media: @Sportime_SPARK for Twitter and /SportimeSPARK for Facebook.

About School Specialty, Inc.
School Specialty is a leading distributor of innovative and proprietary products, programs and services to the education marketplace. The Company 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, School Specialty reaches beyond the scope of textbooks to help teachers, guidance counselors and school administrators ensure that every student reaches his or her full potential. Through its SSI Guardian subsidiary, the Company is also committed to school, healthcare and corporate workplace safety by offering the highest quality curriculum, training and safety and security products. Finally, through its SOAR Life Products brand, the Company offers thousands of products that sharpen cognitive skills and build physical and mental strength in fun and creative ways. From childhood through adulthood, they help individuals live life to the fullest – engaged, happy and well.  SOAR Life Products is a customized offering for hospitals, long-term care, therapeutic facilities, home care, surgery centers, day care centers, physician offices, and clinics. For more information about School Specialty, visit

Connect with School Specialty on social media; search School Specialty on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. For Ideas and resources, educational trends and inspiration for today’s educators – visit the Schoolyard blog.

Company Contact:
Katie Fenton
Marketing Manager, Sportime featuring SPARK
Tel: 800-772-7573 ext. 2212

Media Contacts:
Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester
GW Communications (for School Specialty)
Tel: 212-786-6011 / 212-786-6068
Email: /

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School Specialty, Inc