Spark keeps 4-H'ers moving from the start and includes elementary physical education for grades K-6, a secondary program for middle school and a high school program.
It encourages and teaches them how to stay active. The games are scored and winners receive prizes.
All Spark programs focus on aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. Through the games, young people learn to play well together gaining social skills, fitness and a lot of laughter to boot.
The dance unit, for example, consists of cultural dances, contemporary line dances and traditional and non-traditional square dances. All young people will have fun moving with the music in a non-threatening environment.
The sports skills unit gives 4-H'ers a chance to develop skills, such as throwing, catching and kicking balls, using in simple games. They develop motor skills that they can use all of their lives. Spark gives them the opportunity to practice skills over and over again to gain competency. The games do not require much special equipment so they can play the games at home with their friends.
Each program features a time for 4-H'ers to warm up for faster activity and cool down into slower movements such as walking. The point is to keep the young people moving the whole time.
Throughout the whole program, good sporting behavior is enforced and welcomed. While it is fun and active, it also gives them sport skills, problem solving skills, time to work as a team and time for individual efforts.
All of the programs are specifically designed for the specific age groups. While promoting learning skills and social skills there's lots of fun in the bargain. To learn more about the Spark after school program, call Logan County Cooperative Extension Service.
Source: Deana Reed, Extension Specialist for 4-H Youth Development