Calgary students get active to improve performance
SPARK program in Calgary schools uses physical activity to boost academics
Several schools in Calgary are adopting a program from the United States that aims to boost academic performance by increasing physical activity.
SPARK was introduced at St. Anthony School for children with learning disabilities five years ago.
Students at the school begin every day with 20 minutes of exercise, ranging from soccer to circuit training.
Grade 6 student Vincenzo Salatino said he finds exercising first thing in the morning helps him be ready to learn.
"It's fun because whenever you wake up you get energy because you're always tired and it gets your brain going."
Shannon Griffin-White, the Principal at St. Anthony's, said her school's program is successful and has sparked interest from other schools around the city.
"What we've shown them is with some reasonably priced equipment or things that you already have as part of your phys-ed program is that you can implement a SPARK program in your own schools."
The Calgary Board of Education said 12 of its schools have adopted the program and a number of schools in the Catholic board are doing likewise.