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PowerUp Your School (PowerUp) is an evidence-based physical activity program aligned with academic standards and social-emotional learning skills. As a direct education program, PowerUp helps youth meet national physical activity guidelines by engaging K-8th grade participants in 30 minutes of physical activity, a minimum of two times per week, in before and after school settings. Every PowerUp lesson is aligned with national Math and English Language Arts academic standards to engage students in active learning. Designed to minimize barriers to physical activity, PowerUp does not require any equipment and can be successfully implemented in a variety of spaces including gymnasiums, cafeterias, classrooms, hallways, common spaces, or outdoors. 

Intervention Target Behavior: Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time 

SNAP-Ed Strategies: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

PowerUp targets preschool - middle school aged children and is primarily used in the before and after school setting by school-based programs and community organizations, like YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs. With Spanish-translated permission forms, PowerUp also supports English Language Learners. PowerUp Your School eliminates barriers surrounding equipment upkeep costs or space limitations by making the program equitable for schools/organizations with limited resources, as no equipment is needed, and small space strategies are taught in instructor training. Since 2012, more than 300 schools and afterschool programs across 34 states have implemented PowerUp Your School. 

Settings: Pre-K & Childcare, Community-wide, Schools, Tribal Reseravtions

Age/Population Group: Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School 

Race: All

Ethnicity: All 

Intervention Components

PowerUp Your School includes warmup, strength and endurance exercises, a minimum of 4 aligned Math and ELA academic standards, and a PowerUp play activity as a part of each lesson. Lessons also feature a Character Concept to integrate social-emotional learning skills. The intervention components provide age-appropriate, safe, and engaging physical activities that align with the academic standards indicated in each specific lesson plan and are the core components of the intervention.  

Intervention Materials

Materials include hardcopy lesson plans, hardcopy instructor training manuals, and year-long access to the online instructor training platform. The online instructor training includes five, self-paced video-learning modules that complement the main sections of the instructor manual along with the exercise and activity video library. Trainees learn how to effectively utilize the lessons, maintain a safe environment, and how to handle common challenges. The activity library features short instructional videos to properly teach and perform all exercises and games featured in the PowerUp program. No additional equipment or purchases are needed to successfully implement this evidence-based curriculum. 

A sample can be found here: 

Evidence Summary

Lenoir City Elementary School in Lenoir City Tennesse served as the pilot site for PowerUp Your School in 2012. LCES is a Title 1 School with a minority enrollment of 56% of the student body (majority Hispanic/Latina), which is higher than the TN state average (37%). Following successful program implementation, observed student outcomes included increased student focus and classroom engagement and reduced nurse visits. The Office of Coordinated School Health in Lenoir City Schools and Loudon County Schools conducted a survey of classroom teachers comparing students participating in PowerUp Your School to their non-participating peer counterparts.  

Survey results can be found on page 4 of the following pdf: 

Think Together, an afterschool provider in the state of California completed staff and site evaluations at four afterschool sites using PowerUp Your School programming. Staff members cited a "good fit," student enjoyment, and that the program is respectful, fair, encourages participation, motivates students and keeps them active, among others. Additional feedback from the site evaluations can be found here: 

PowerUp Program overview - a 10 page summary of the program materials, expected outcomes, implementation strategies, and available resources:  

University of Tennessee Independent Research Abstract utilizing SOFIT observation data collection methods:  

Evidence Base: Emerging 

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

  Readiness and Capacity - Short Term (ST) Changes - Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance - Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST3 MT3    
Environmental Settings      
Sectors of Influence      
  • ST3e: Increase opportunities for physical activity in before and afterschool programs; assess the quality of instructor training as it relates to increasing physical activity among youth 
  • MT3e: Increase time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity; observe positive academic outcomes as a result of increased physical activity 
Evaluation Materials

The PowerUp Your School program includes a Program Implementation Form to provide intervention sites with the tools needed to conduct pre and post surveys and monitor program outcomes. The form can be previewed here:  

Additional Information

The PowerUp Your School Website,, contains additional resources regarding program implementation.  

Contact Person(s):

Stacy Baugues


Phone: 901-283-9018 

Resource Type
Intervention Target Behavior
Evaluation Framework Indicators
Intervention Outcome Levels
SNAP-Ed Strategies
Evidence Base