Getting Into the BOKS at FI School

Is it possible students are asking to go to school early for an extra class?

November 8, 2013
by Jane Ahrens

Three days a week that is exactly what is happening at Fishers Island School.  The elementary students, and some curious middle schoolers, arrive at school at 7:30 am to ‘Get into the BOKS’ (Build Our Kids’ Success), an exercise and nutritional curriculum.

BOKS Founder Kathleen Tullie was looking to make a positive impact.  In Dr. John Ratey’s book Sparks, she found “studies demonstrated that getting kids moving before school could translate to better academic performance during the school day.”  In 2009 Kathleen launched a program that has now grown to a nation wide mission of “empowering communities to make a positive difference in children’s lives by offering increased opportunities for children to get physically active, creating healthy, life-long habits.”

Classes meet three days a week for six weeks in the fall, winter, and spring.  The curriculum is split into timed sections: Drop-off and free play; group meeting and warm-up; running related activities incorporated into fun relays or obstacle courses; learning a skill of the week like sit-ups or squats; cool down time with stretching; and a nutritional tip of the week.

Principal Karen Goodwin was aware of the grant program and approached local health coach, Kapri Thomas, to see if she was willing to serve as the community champion for student fitness.  Together they applied for and secured a $1,000 Federal grant to finance the program for the 2013-2014 school year.  An initiative of the Reebok Foundation, the hope is BOKS will continue on Fishers Island in the years to come, energized with the enthusiasm of our young participants.

FI Fall BOKS video link

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