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How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? A little lethargic…? Maybe your back needs some stretching…maybe you need a jolt to get the brain working. WELL, kids throughout the world are experiencing these same feelings, and BOKS is here to help. Keep reading to see how children around the globe have learned to wake up their bodies and brains.

Training at the IDEA Convention in Anaheim, CA.

Training at the IDEA Convention in Anaheim, CA.

In December 2013, I wrote to introduce you to BOKS and to update you on our great success in reaching 671 schools. At the time, this was a fantastic leap for the program. As the Co-founder of BOKS, I am extremely proud to announce that we have exceeded these previous accomplishments by leaps and bounds.
Approximately 60,000+ kids across the globe are now participating in BOKS – learning about healthy habits that will last a lifetime. We are in nearly every state (anyone know anyone in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota or Utah who would like to bring BOKS to their school?). BOKS is also expanding internationally – by the end of 2014, we will span six countries: the US, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Panama and India. The exponential growth of BOKS is just a small part of the larger movement to help the youth of this generation develop healthy habits.

Kids are enjoying the activities.

Kids are enjoying the activities.

The results are in and they continue to encourage us! A recent National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) study conducted on the BOKS program validates the stance that exercise, especially before school, can have a positive impact on both classroom performance and behavior. Furthermore, NIOST results from 2013 showed that BOKS’ participants improved significantly more than their peers on assessments of working memory. Even more importantly, BOKS’s success is confirmed by those who spend the most time with our students. We are hearing incredibly positive feedback from teachers themselves:

“The students in my class are always excited to tell me about what they did in BOKS that day. They seem to really enjoy it and use it as a time to get their bodies moving in the morning. I think ALL students should participate!” Lilja Elementary School, Natick, MA
“I would love it if BOKS could run for the entire school year! The days my students participate in BOKS are extremely productive days academically speaking. There are FAR less behavior problems on BOKS days!” Murphy Elementary School, Boston, MA
“My third graders love BOKS! Apart from the physical benefit, BOKS builds a special community of respect. The children who participate in BOKS have a more advanced sense of respect and good sportsmanship.” Oliver Hazard Perry School, Boston, MA

Celebration of the ACE/BOKS partnership announcement.

Celebration of the ACE/BOKS partnership announcement.

If you’re reading this post, odds are that you know someone – a friend or loved one – who could benefit from BOKS, or maybe you’d love to volunteer yourself. BOKS is a “turnkey” program that can be implemented by anyone who is passionate about giving kids the opportunity to be active and adopt healthy habits. Daily, we learn about moms, dads, teachers, nurses and other community members who are bringing BOKS to their schools or simply spreading the word.

You, the moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles – are our Champions of Change. You’re inspiring principals, teachers, parents and kids to see the benefits of being physically active and practicing healthy habits. Through these efforts as advocates, trainers and volunteers, BOKS is truly living up to its name of ‘building our kids’ success’.
Even more exciting is our new BOKS Kids Fitness Certificate developed in partnership with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) which offers BOKS trainers an opportunity to become nationally recognized for their work in getting kids physically active.

Group shot after the session.

Group shot after the session.

AND right now we are awarding $1,000 BOKS Activation Grants for up to 300 schools for the 2014/2015 school year. These Activation Grants are offered to schools that haven’t yet implemented BOKS, so please spread the word. Our goal is to give all kids the opportunity to be active and healthy. We need to create a shift from a culture of spectators to a culture of participants and there is no better way than to start with our youth. BOKS is working alongside Let’s Move! Active Schools, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and a number of other partners to truly make a difference.