News and Speeches

Chancellor Walcott Announces Reebok Partnership to Expand Physical Activity Options for Elementary School Students

12/11/2013

Physical Activity Program for Kids Expands to 26 NYC Public Schools

Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott today announced an expanded partnership with Reebok and the Reebok Foundation that enhances physical activity in New York City elementary schools. The physical activity program is called BOKS, which stands for Build Our Kids’ Success, and is free of charge to participating schools. The program has expanded from three schools last year to 26 additional schools throughout New York City, serving kindergarten through fifth grade. BOKS reinforces the Department of Education’s commitment to help all students meet the nationally recommended goal of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

BOKS is a before-school physical activity program for elementary school students designed to get young bodies moving in the morning and their brains ready for a day of learning. Three schools had BOKS programs last year—PS 125 and PS 161 in Manhattan and PS184 in Brooklyn. The expansion, made possible by $62,000 in Reebok Foundation support, began in some schools this fall. BOKS focuses on both traditional activities—like jumping jacks—and non-traditional activities, such as crawling like a crab while playing tag.

“I want to thank the Reebok Foundation for providing this free fitness program to our students,” said Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott. “New York City has led the country in setting nutrition standards in schools. Staying active and being mindful of healthy eating helps students stay alert in school.”

“BOKS provides another option to get our younger students excited, active, and stimulated for their academic day, and we’re grateful to have BOKS in our schools,” Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm said. “Like all DOE fitness programs, our BOKS partners understand the need for programs tailored to the fitness needs of each school community.”

“We know that health and academic performance share a strong link, so programs like BOKS are particularly advantageous in preparing students for the rigors of learning early in the day through physical activity,” said Dr. Roger Platt, Chief Executive Officer of the Office of School Health.

“The BOKS program is another opportunity for students to learn to love being physically active through play,” said Office of School Wellness Programs Executive Director Lindsey Harr. “Like BOKS, our CHAMPS program for middle school students provides traditional and non-traditional activities. Many of the 26 additional schools that have BOKS offer CHAMPS as well, giving students a variety of physical activities beginning in elementary grades and throughout middle school.”

“We are extremely excited to have brought BOKS to the New York City school district and couldn’t be more pleased about our partnership with the Department of Education,” said Kathleen Tullie, Director of Social Responsibility for the Reebok Foundation and Executive Director and Founder of the BOKS program. “The potential for growth throughout New York City is endless. With the support of the Department of Education we plan to bring BOKS to as many schools as possible, empowering students, staff, and entire communities to make physical activity a part of their daily routine for life.”

The schools with BOKS are:

Manhattan                                                      The Bronx
PS 188                                                             PS 5
PS 111                                                             PS 71
PS 96                                                               PS/IS 218
PS 125                                                             PS/MS 280                                                      
PS 161
Amistad Dual Language School

Brooklyn                                                         Queens
PS 133                                                             PS 16
MS 394                                                            PS/MS 200
PS 306                                                             The Queens College School for Math,
PS 209                                                             Science, and Technology
PS 226                                                             PS/IS 178
PS 109                                                             PS/MS 42
PS 73                                                               PS 105
PS 184                                                             PS/MS 138
PS 284                                                             PS/IS 268
PS 123                                                             PS 84