Disclosure: Influence Central received complimentary tickets to the Bruins game to facilitate learning about the BOKS program. All opinions are our own.
For a moment, stop and think about how good you feel when you’re active and doing something fun you enjoy – zumba, yoga, or running. It’s truly an amazing feeling! As adults, we typically have to carve out time to fit physical activity into our busy daily routines. If we squeeze a workout in before the workday begins – the day just seems to go smoother.
Simply taking time out of our morning to get centered with a workout, no matter the length or intensity, allows us to have a more productive day. While health and fitness not only benefits our bodies, it also helps to nurture our minds. This same concept applies to children, as well.
I recently attended a Boston Bruins game in support of the recent announcement that the Boston Bruins Foundation partnered with BOKS (Building Our Kids’ Success), an initiative of the Reebok Foundation, to encourage kids to get active before school. Through this partnership, five schools in New England were granted funding to run programs in the 2015-2016 school year, with the Boston Bruins Foundation covering stipends for two trainers per school, program equipment, t-shirts, and incentives.
The BOKS program operates as a free before-school program that jumpstarts the academic day by getting kids engaged in physical activity and exercise before they head off to their classrooms. Since 2009, BOKS has grown from one elementary school in Natick to over 1,500 elementary schools in six countries in 2015!
“The physical inactivity epidemic is setting up our children for a future that will be filled with obesity, diabetes, cancer and other health-related issues,” said Kathleen Tullie, founder of BOKS. “We need to take action and give kids the opportunity to be active.”
The inspiration for the organization came from Dr. John Ratey of Harvard Medical School and author of Spark. The book explores how powerful exercise proves, as a tool that helps optimize the function of our brains. Studies found that moderate physical activity creates the physiological conditions for students to be ready to learn.
The morning program, designed for elementary schools (K-5), would easily work with a variety of schools – regardless of size, location, or grade level. Moreover, it also fosters community by enabling the faculty of the school, parents, and community members to participate.
To learn more or to get involved, check out www.bokskids.org
Photo Credits: Boston Bruins Foundation & Getty Images