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May 24

SPAR Teacher Wins Scholarship to Advance Exercise Education

Posted on May 24, 2019 at 3:12 PM by Danielle Richard

SHREVEPORT, La. – Sandra Lee enjoys teaching senior citizens how to live a healthier, more
active life through her work at Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation (SPAR). Thanks to a
Senior Empowerment Scholarship from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), Lee will have a chance to advance her education and bring what she learns to her students.
“I am one of those people who is always looking for advancement,” she said. “To receive a
scholarship on my job is really great. This is not only going to provide education and literacy. It’s going to give me new techniques to use with seniors, innovative ideas that have improved lives for seniors.”
Lee teaches three classes for seniors. Fit and Strong is an eight-week physical activity program
for adults with osteoarthritis. Walk with Ease is a six-week program through the Arthritis
Foundation
that helps seniors develop a walking plan, stay motivated, manage pain, and learn
to exercise safely. And Active Living Every Day is a 12-week program offering seniors a step-by-step plan for building a healthier life. She teaches at parks and community centers across
Shreveport. Lee said she enjoys working with the people who take her classes.
“I enjoy them because it makes such a difference that we take responsibility for our seniors,”
she said. “Let’s do something for them, that’s what I say. I’m looking forward to some of the
new things I will take to them.”
ACE is an organization dedicated to getting people moving. ACE developed the Senior
Empowerment Scholarship program with the help of the Brunswick Public Foundation to train
community fitness leaders, like Lee, who are leading low-cost or free exercise classes for seniors in communities with the greatest need for physical activity resources.
The scholarship will provide Lee the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills to provide unique exercise programming for her classes, as well as continuing education credits from ACE and other organizations in healthcare and fitness. Lee said she is grateful for the support she has received at SPAR.
“It’s great when you have an employer that buys into what you’re doing and helps advance
your education,” she said. “Education keeps everyone up to speed. It keeps us in the loop.”
Lee has been teaching with SPAR for three years. She said she enjoys seeing her students get
outside for classes like Walk With Ease, which she teaches at seven community centers – A.B.
Palmer
, Airport Park, David Raines, Hattie Perry, Lakeside Park, Mamie Hicks, and Valencia Park.
“I enjoy the hands-on working with the public,” she said. “We make it fun for them, so it
doesn’t feel like a classroom setting. Some are in their 90s who come to these classes. I see the
excitement in them not being in the house all the time. Our job is to enhance what the program curriculum does. With me being a senior myself, that helps. When they can see me do
something, they say, ‘I can do it too.’”

For more information about SPAR programs for seniors, visit myspar.org.