"BOKS Rocks" aptly describes a new program starting in East Greenwich next month. Beginning on November 2, Eldredge Elementary School will be offering a new before-school physical activity program for its students. "Active kids equals active minds" is the philosophy of this new program called BOKS, which stands for Build Our Kids’ Success, and is an initiative of the Reebok Foundation. The first session, which starts on Friday, Nov. 2, runs seven weeks, Mondays and Fridays from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. The BOKS program allows students to get physical activity in a structured but fun way, before they transition to the classroom for a day of learning.
BOKS classes are filled with team-oriented games and provide plenty of opportunity for play, since the program focuses on fun. A typical BOKS class is 40 minutes long, begins with a fun warm-up game or movement drills, and includes running activities, relay races, obstacle courses and strength movements. It features a fun game and ends with a cool down that includes a "BOKS Bit," which is the nutrition educational component of the program.
The program is starting Eldredge but organizers hope to bring it to the other three EG elementary schools.
BOKS prepares children for a day of optimal learning, and is an important step in helping children learn the benefits of exercise and healthy choices that will last a lifetime. BOKS was inspired by Spark, a book by psychiatrist John Ratey of Harvard Medical School.
"Exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains,” says Ratey. BOKS promotes this powerful link between physical activity and increased academic performance and has been statistically proven to have a measurable positive impact on children's success in the classroom.
The classes will be held in the Eldredge gym using curriculum developed by Reebok and conducted by parent volunteers who have been trained by Reebok. Several of the parent volunteers attended a training session at Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Mass., on Sept. 18 and heard Ratey speak about the link between exercise and improved brain function.
These enthusiastic parent volunteers also attended a BOKS class at Lilja Elementary School in Natick, Mass., and watched 80 students completely enjoy physical activity before starting a day of school. After learning about the benefits of BOKS, this group of parent volunteers is excited and inspired to be trainers for the BOKS program at Eldredge.
Eldredge students brought home information on BOKS in their backpacks on Friday and should quickly return the form with a check for $25 payable to the Eldredge PTG if they would like to participate in the program (scholarships are available).
If you're interested in learning more, or have any questions, contact Nancy Day, BOKS Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the BOKS website, at www.bokskids.org, for more program details.