Redefining Our Community

During my year as president of SHAPE America, my theme will be ROC, which stands for Redefining Our Community. The message of ROC will be simply about raising the bar for every health and physical educator — and no longer accepting being on the back burner.

Our students have great needs emotionally, socially and physically. We are their community and we cannot be complacent, simply accepting things the way they have been. Every child — in every school and every community — needs a champion to boldly take a stand for them. We must be that champion!

ROC is also about our HPE community as a whole. As health and physical educators we play an important role promoting equity, diversity and inclusion for all students — and ensuring that administrators are implementing a Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) approach in schools. Most importantly for us collectively is the success of SHAPE America’s new service-learning and fundraising program — health. moves. minds.

Highlighting Our ROC Stars

Each month between now and the 2020 SHAPE America National Convention & Expo in Salt Lake City, I will showcase ROC stars from our HPE community. To start each month off, I’ll blog about a different component of the WSCC model and then follow up by mid-month with a video highlighting the work of our ROC stars.

I hope you will join me in sharing the great work that is going on in your school. We want to hear about ROC stars in schools across America! I encourage you to use #shapeROCstars with your social media posts.

I recently learned that June is National Employee Wellness Month. So, I’m especially excited to kick off our first month with a discussion of WSCC’s employee wellness component, which may be one of the most critical components to successfully implementing the WSCC model at the local level.

Educators are frequently burned out and exhausted from the demands placed on them. Asking educators to integrate physical activity in the classroom for students or integrate health education across other curricular areas may come across as adding something else to an already full plate. However, if we strategically start our conversations with meeting the needs of the employee first, I firmly believe that is a great first step to building buy-in for improving the other components of WSCC in your local school or district.

I look forward to hearing more about #employeewellnessmonth from all of our #shapeROCstars throughout the month of June! In July, we’ll focus on a different WSCC component — social and emotional climate. This aligns perfectly with the #SHAPESEL conference in Sioux Falls, SD, July 31-August 1.

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Jaime Sparks
Jaime Sparks

SHAPE America President Jamie Sparks is the National School Health Program Manager for ETR. A member of SHAPE America since 1999, he was elected member-at-large for the Southern District Leadership Council in 2017. Nationally he also served on the board of directors with the American School Health Association and has been a member of The Society of State Leaders for Health and Physical Education. Jamie is currently executive director of the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. @JamieSparksCSH