questions about running the program
Does the program have to run before school or can it run during or after school?
The premise of the program is Active Kids = Active Minds and therefore, it is important to have the kids moving in the morning before school starts or during the first few periods of the day because the effects of the physical activity are most impactful during this time. The curriculum can certainly be used in part during as a fun change to a PE curriculum or after the school day, however the BOKS program is intended to occur in the morning.
Our school already has p.e. is BOKS meant to supplement or replace p.e.?
No, the BOKS mission is to promote the profound impact of physical activity on a child's mind, body, and community. BOKS will provide an opportunity for children to increase their daily physical activity in an effort to achieve the CDC's recommended 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week. BOKS focuses on having fun and non-competitive play. We have found that many PE teachers take elements of the BOKS program and implement it into their PE classes. BOKS promotes PE teachers working with the BOKS team in your community as it is mutually beneficial!
Can we combine BOKS with our already established before-school program?
If there is a before school program already in place, then encourage the children to join BOKS a couple of days a week. This is a great way to involve children that are already at school early in the morning and energize them for the school day.
What time will the program start and how long will it run?
Back into your answer based on the start of the school day. Make sure to allow at least 5 minutes for drop off and 10 minutes to transition to class with at least 20-30 minutes of physical activity. If breakfast is served, children can transition right to the cafeteria without much difficulty.
How many weeks are in the session?
The 12 week curriculum contains 3 unique lesson plans per week and 24 weeks of BOKS bits, a set of 12 for each session. The lesson plans can be used session after session. Be sure to check back on the website for special edition lesson plans. If your program will run longer than 12 weeks or more often than 3 times per week, there is an index of games at the back of the curriculum that can easily update the plans on your own!
Is the program for all elementary students or just a few grades?
BOKS has run both ways. It is intended to serve the entire elementary school, but it has been piloted in limited grades to gauge interest and work with limited space. We want to set our program up for success! [Note: if your school is a K-8 school, the children in grade 6-8 can be junior coaches, especially if they have siblings in the program. Our training materials offer suggestions on how to utilize junior coaches.]
How many kids participate in the program?
BOKS strongly recommends a 1:20 ratio, however this ratio may fluctuate depending on the space available. If the school has a large gym then recommend an 80 child program, but if the school is running BOKS in a cafeteria or smaller space try to encourage between 40-60 children. Remember to set yourself up for success - it is better to start off small and then grow.
How should participants be chosen if there are more applications than available spots?
BOKS recommends registering participants based on a lottery system rather than first-come first serve. If more children apply than spots are available, create a waiting list. If students that have registered for the program do not show up, take their name off the attendance and move a child off the waiting list. Be sure to communicate the standards/process with the school community (i.e. let them know if their child misses a full week without communication, they can no longer participate). If you don't feel comfortable with this operation or have no attendance issues, children on the wait list can have priority for spots at our next session.
If a family has more than one child interested in participating, what happens if the class reaches capacity?
BOKS guarantees that all siblings or none will get into the session.
Is attendance taken every class?
Attendance is important in order to make sure the children attending the program have signed waivers and been accepted. Trainers will want to call home if too many classes are missed, to determine if the child wants to stay in the program. Attendance is also very important if you are collecting data. Schools need to know if the children have shown improvements from the program or if their lack of improvement is from poor attendance.
Our nurse is not on site - what about injuries?
The lead trainer will have a first aid kit and we plan to have the trainers (at least the lead trainer) certified in CPR. Additionally, we will have an Emergency Action Plan in place if there is a critical situation. Lastly, when in doubt we will always call 911. There is an accident report form, too, that will be filled out, with a copy going home with the child and a copy going to the nurse. If the nurse is not available during BOKS hours each lead trainer is responsible for knowing where children's inhalers or other medical needs are stored in case of an emergency. If the child's medical needs are serious it is recommended that a parent or guardian is present during class time.
Do participants have to attend every class?
It is recommended that children attend as many classes as possible. In order to see the benefits of the program, consistent attendance is critical. Additionally, we will staff the class for the maximum number of children and it will be unfair for children that want to participate but can't because of space limitations. If children participating in other programs that conflict with BOKS are registering, consider what your protocol will be.
what happens when a BOKS class needs to be held indoors due to poor weather?
The programming anticipates the need for indoor activity. There are lesson plans that take into account varying school space (i.e. no gym, utilizing classroom space and hallways).
what are the tools & resources needed to run BOKS?
The BOKS team has created a trainer hub on our website at www.bokskids.org which contains free tools and resources needed to help run BOKS. You will receive login details to the trainer hub once you have signed the BOKS pledge and we have received confirmation that your school principal has approved you running BOKS. The trainer hub is a BOKS community with everything you need for success including a forum for trainers to share their stories. You will have access to our BOKS Blocks. The BOKS BLOCKS contain everything from modifiable letters to the school community announcing BOKS, flyers for the school, registration forms, the entire BOKS curriculum which lesson plans, sets of BOKS Bits (our nutrition tips), surveys for parents, teachers and participants and even sample certificates for participants. There is a video library of movements, games and a sample class so you can see the program in action. In addition to documents and videos, the trainer hub will help you keep your program running smoothly. You will be able to maintain a database of program participants (all the information that you will collect on the registration forms) along with specific session information. You will easily be able to generate attendance charts, emergency contact information sheets, and metrics collection sheets. There will be useful links for the purchase of equipment, t-shirts and printed materials too! One special feature within the trainer hub is the forum. With the forum, you will be able to exchange ideas or get answers to questions from other people within the BOKS family.
questions about training
How is the lead trainer identified?
Parents, teachers and school faculty are encouraged to get involved, but the Lead Trainer needs to have continuous contact with the children and school community. The Lead Trainer has historically been the BOKS advocate that pitched the program to the school or identified specifically by the principal as a good candidate for the position. The Lead Trainer responsibilities can be broken up into administration and classroom leader if that is helpful for the schools specific situation.
What kind of qualifications does a lead trainer need to possess?
The lead trainer does not need to be a fitness professional. He or she should be able to demonstrate the movements in the program. The most important characteristics for a lead trainer to possess are:
1. Enthusiasm and excitement for the program
2. Ability to manage a large group of children
3. Good organizational and communication skills
4. Reliable and passionate towards working with kids
Is it hard to manage children with such varying ages altogether in the program?
In our experiences so far, this has not been a big issue. The older children can act as mentors for the younger children. This provides leadership opportunities for them in addition to being role models. The lesson plans are designed to appeal to all elementary school age children. During the end of class game(s), children can be divided by grades to enable a fast or slow paced game. Depending on the lesson plan, children may also choose between two different games at the end of class.
How will the trainers be trained?
There are regular training sessions held free of charge at Reebok HQ in Canton prior to the start of each session. (i.e. September and January). In the future, the BOKS team hopes to be offer additional training via Skype, video or webinars. Contact the BOKS team for additional information.
funding and press questions
what is the relationship between Reebok and BOKS?
BOKS is an initiative of The Reebok Foundation and an important part of Reebok's mission to "Empower People to Be Fit For Life". Reebok recognizes the profoundly positive impact that fitness can have on everyone, and is working towards ensuring that future generations are healthy and fit. BOKS is a key initiative to help make this mission a reality.
Since 1986, The Reebok Foundation has strived to promote social and economic equality by funding programs which support inner-city youth and underserved groups, primarily in the Greater Boston area. Over the years, the Reebok Foundation has worked with more than 500 non-profit organizations.
Today, by supporting programs like BOKS, The Reebok Foundation is also working to ensure that people all over the world are able to live healthy, happy lives. Reebok is currently the sole donor to The Reebok Foundation and is the primary sponsor of the BOKS program, helping BOKS reach as many children as possible.
If the program is free, why would we need to worry about money?
BOKS provides the curriculum for free via downloads and training at HQ. However, there are certain costs associated with the program for things such as first aid supplies, copying (unless the school will donate that), basic equipment like whistles, stopwatches, clipboards, cones, balls and jump ropes. Additional costs would include supplemental equipment and payment for the trainers' time if you decide to run the program in that manner. Remind the school that the cost will decrease after the first session once all of the supplies have been purchased.
our school does not have money in the budget to support this kind of program. Where can we get the funds?
There are many different options to funding the BOKS program:
1. Charge participants a nominal fee of to participate in the program. This is much more affordable than child care or other out of school activities.
2. Speak with the PTO/PTA; they may be able to earmark some funds to get our program started. Based on the program's success, consider applying for a grant or looking for sponsorships.
3. Reach out to local companies and have a discussion with them regarding sponsoring the BOKS program. Make sure to follow the sponsorship guidelines available in the Building Blocks materials (released after signing The BOKS Pledge).
4. Depending on your community, parents and teachers, etc. may be willing to volunteer their time in order to provide their kid(s) the opportunity for physical activity.
what about insurance?
Most BOKS programs fall under the school or district's general liability insurance. This would be similar to any other activity or program that runs out of the school.
How do we spread the word about the program?
Consider contacting a local paper to get some press around the program (a media kit will be available for download),participate in community events or offer the opportunity to demo the program for free one morning, afternoon or weekend to show what it is all about. Some schools have piloted a class, inviting parents and teachers to come with their kids to learn more about the program. This, along with conducting a survey, enables you to gauge interest.
I have a great BOKS story, how do I get press?
Please keep the BOKS community in the loop! If you have a great story, share it with us.