BOKS is a morning physical activity program that has kids begin their day with a dose of fun – 45 minutes of running, playing, and exercise, all before the first school bell rings. Featuring a wide variety of dynamic games and activities, the BOKS curriculum is popular with elementary age kids of all ability levels. Ask a BOKS kid their favorite game and you might hear “Fishy Fish”, “Crab Soccer”, or “Toilet Tag”. Quality movement that is kid-approved.

BOKS was developed in 2009 by three moms in Natick, Massachusetts who took a leap of faith. The gamble? Students would wake up early to arrive at school before the bell - to exercise. Starry-eyed perhaps, but the wager paid off. BOKS (short for Build Our Kids’ Success) was born. BOKS is designed to jump start students’ brains and ready them for a day of learning. In the 200 schools BOKS has expanded to nationwide, activity is as central to student life as reading, writing, and arithmetic. 



The BOKS program is organized into a 12-week curriculum, which is delivered twice a school year, once in the fall and again in the spring. Every session is broken down into five segments: warm-up, running activity, skill of the week, fun game, and cool down with a nutrition talk (the BOKS Bit).

BOKS “Trainers” oversee morning sessions. Designed to include the whole family and community, any parent, classroom teacher, PE teacher, coach, or other volunteer may become a BOKS Trainer. These individuals organize program logistics and lead activities each morning. Dedication to the program and its mission is critical but trainers do not need to be fitness professionals.

Written in conjunction with Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, ‘BOKS Bits’ are age appropriate nutrition lessons delivered at the end of each session to complement the physical activity provided. Kids take home nuggets of valuable information about nutrition labels, sugar-sweetened beverages, and healthy snacks – tools they can use on all days of the week.

BOKS is strategically scheduled before school to get the blood pumping and ready the brain for learning. Teachers at BOKS schools report that they see a tremendous difference in students who have participated in morning exercise. They arrive to class alert, focused, and ready to tackle the day.

As it turns out, a kid in motion stays in motion. A recent study conducted in Massachusetts found that BOKS participants were more active than the comparison group on all days of the week and not just the days they attended BOKS.

Helping children realize the physical, health, and emotional benefits of daily movement and exercise is a core goal of the BOKS program. As the cheer goes, BOKS ROCKS!

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