During BlogHer, I had the chance to learn more about BOKS KIDS, a non-profit that focuses on giving elementary school-aged kids the best start through school physical activity program. It is apparent that our kids are exercising less and taking in more TV. This not only leads to inactive bodies, but also inactive minds that have been show to perform better after only 20 minutes of physical activity.
Founded on the principle of Active Kids = Active Minds and backed by the Reebok Foundation, BOKS is an unique before school physical activity program that aims to enhance academic performance and the overall health of kids. Inspired by Dr. John Ratey'??s book Spark, BOKS was started by Kathleen Tullie, a mom, who wanted to spend her time working to make a difference while also engaging her community. As an athlete, she understand the correlation between feeling good after a workout but it wasn't until she read Spark and the research outlined between exercise, academic performance and behavior, that she decided to bring physical activity to children.
At the event Kathleen spoke about how the program works - outlining how the before school program is a way to engage both the children and other moms. Since 2009 they have been developing the program where it is now in over 80 elementary schools across the country and continues to grow every day. I loved hearing more about it and how it works. Essentially, it is powered by communities and relies on the help of parents, teachers, schools and local volunteers to give kids a body and brain boost that will set them up for a day of learning.
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The core of the program is flexible, can include three lessons a week, and can last between 20-40 minutes. Through this plan, kids get motivated and excited about it, rather than one they have to do everyday. Additionally, they offer unique playtime exercises where kids can naturally engage with one another. This then leads to an energetic warm-up, a running-related activity, a new skill such push-ups, sit-ups or squats, an end of class game, and a cool-down period with deep breaths and a nutrition tip of the week. The program understands kids and their sense of excitement to keep the fitness activities fun and really engaging.
This amazing program can also be brought to your school, and BOKS outlines exactly how to get started on their website. Essentially all you have to do is read their checklist, contact your principal and take the BOKS pledge.
With children getting less and less exercise it is our responsibility to promote physical and fun activity. BOKS Kids has that model figured out and is helping kids across the country not only get fit, but have confidence, positive eating habits, and the ability to do perform better in school.
As a special 'thank you' to all of MomTrends readers - mention this article if you decide to bring BOKS to a school in your community and you will become part of an incentive program that the BOKS team is currently developing for BOKS program participants.
Momtrends was not paid for this post on BOKS Kids: Motivating School Children to be Active.