Robinson Middle School Awarded Nationally Acclaimed Health Grant

Published on August 18, 2017 at 2:03 p.m.

KINGSPORT, Tenn.Ross. N. Robinson Middle School has received the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee “Shape the State” grant, awarding $10,000 to the school for physical education curriculum and equipment.

Along with 19 other schools, Robinson Middle School will receive the nationally acclaimed SPARK physical education curriculum, teacher training, and equipment as a way to revive physical education for students and teachers. In addition, Robinson will receive $1,000 to spend on PE, nutrition and wellness efforts. This Shape the State program began in 2011.

“We have awarded 20 Shape the State grants each year since 2011, and the results from previous grant winners have been overwhelmingly positive,” said Chelsea Johnson, interim director of the BlueCross Health Foundation. “We know physical education will be transformed at these latest schools as well – we look forward to watching the teachers and students at Robinson Middle School achieve success together.”

Today, approximately 38.5 percent of children are overweight or are considered obese in the state of Tennessee – placing them at a high risk for a variety of lasting health complications as they grow up. Shape the State grants continue BlueCross’ Tennessee Health Foundation’s longstanding practice of supporting efforts to fight childhood obesity in Tennessee.

This fall, faculty and staff from the Shape the State schools will gather for training from SPARK professionals on implementing the program with their students. In addition, they will receive complete SPARK curriculum materials, as well as accompanying exercise equipment.

SPARK was launched in 1989 after being developed by researchers at San Diego State University. Since then, its evidence-based curriculum has been used in public schools, YMCAs and other settings across the nation.

For more information on the Robinson Shape the State grant, contact Misty Keller, Coordinator of Coordinated School Health at (423) 378.2147.

The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation, Inc. (THF) was established in December, 2003 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation organized to promote the philanthropic mission of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. THF awards grants focus on high-impact initiatives across the state, which promote healthy lifestyle choices and help control health care costs for all Tennessee residents. Working with civic and economic partners, THF is dedicated to the support of research, innovative programs and creative approaches to improve the health and quality of Tennesseans for generations to come.

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) is a public school district located in Kingsport, Tenn., serving students in Sullivan and Hawkins county. The district is comprised of 13 schools, including a Pre-K, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, a high school program of choice and an alternative learning program; with total enrollment over 7,700 students. The vision of Kingsport City Schools is to be, Student Focused … World Class.

KCS has been named the top school district in Tennessee as winner of the 2014 SCORE Prize District Award by the State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) and has earned the 2014 Achievement Award in the annual Excellence in Tennessee Recognition Program by the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence (TNCPE).

For more information on KCS, visit, listen live on WCSK 90.3 FM, The Voice of KCS, read our blog, We Are KCS, download our mobile app for Apple / Android devices or call (423) 378.2100. We’re social too; follow us on Facebook (Kingsport City Schools), Twitter (@KCS_District), LinkedIn (Kingsport City Schools) and check out our YouTube Channel (KPTSchools).