NIOST is conducting a longitudinal physical activity study in the five elementary schools in Natick with a particular focus on “BOKS,” a before-school physical activity program sponsored by Reebok. There are over 400 grade K-2 participants enrolled in the study. The Specific Aims for the study are to examine and document child-level learning related, social, nutrition knowledge, and physical activity outcomes associated with participation in BOKS over time.
The BOKS before school program, which was the subject of a two-year evaluation by NIOST researchers, was mentioned in 2013 by First Lady Michelle Obama in her remarks at the launch of the Let's Move Active Schools initiative.
"In Natick, Massachusetts, parents came together and organized a physical activity program that meets in the morning before classes even get started, and teachers support, and also report, that kids in this program are more confident, they're showing that they are more attentive in class, and they have better academic preformance" the First Lady said. A video of her remarks can be found here.
Georgia Hall, Ph.D, senior research scientist, said that preliminary findings from the NIOST evaluation "highlight numerous and diverse benefits to youth who participate in the BOKS program" and also suggest that 'participation may be associated with positive socio-emotional, interpersonal, and academic related outcomes.'"
For more information about BOKS, please visit their website.