BOKS ANNOUNCES $200K GRANT PROGRAM TO SUPPORT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES
Funds, training, and programmatic support bring equitable access to activity and play to more children in-need during COVID-19 and beyond
(BOSTON) SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 — Today BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success), an initiative of the Reebok Foundation, announced a $200,000 grant program that will support its efforts to provide equal access to physical activity and play to more children in underserved communities. This program will provide funds for schools and non-profit youth organizations in need, while allowing them the autonomy to use BOKS’ free curricula to get kids active and healthy in the method that works best for their current educational environment.
Children living in underserved communities face more barriers to sport and fitness. The implications of this are far-reaching when you consider the proven mental, physical and social benefits physical activity has on a person, no matter their age, background, or zip code. This grant program will allow BOKS to direct funding to kids who need it most in those schools and youth organizations struggling to provide impactful physical activity programs during COVID-19 and beyond.
“At BOKS, we strive to be as helpful as possible to educators and parents alike when it comes to keeping kids active and healthy,” said Kathleen Tullie, senior director of social purpose at Reebok International and founder & executive director of BOKS. “This year, educators will face more challenges than ever before, and those working in under-funded communities will be the hardest hit, so we acted quickly to provide those in need with resources and support.” Tullie added, “It’s not just about physical health, our kids are at risk for increased mental health issues exacerbated by the stress of the pandemic. It’s important that we do what we can to help them stay active in this difficult time.”
The BOKS grant application can be found here and will be accepted on a rolling basis and will close on December 31, 2020 or when all funds have been disbursed, whichever is sooner. In addition:
- Grants will be awarded in increments of $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 per school, per academic year, based on the type of BOKS program implemented and the number of children impacted;
- Schools, or non-profit youth organizations that apply must be enrolled in BOKS to be considered (Traditional BOKS, BOKS Bursts or both); (Link to enrollment form)
- Schools or non-profit youth organizations must be located in the United States;
- A minimum of 50% of the students at the school or non-profit youth organization must be eligible for free or reduced lunch program. Priority will be given to those with 75% or higher of students receiving free or reduced lunch.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting school closures, BOKS has overhauled the delivery of its program to adapt to various school environments. Whether teaching at-home, in-school, or with a hybrid model; BOKS’ free resources can be utilized by anyone looking to provide children with much-needed physical activity to stimulate the mental benefits of movement and play during this difficult time. Funds from the new grant platform will be used to support these efforts.
“Our partnership with BOKS has been instrumental in getting our students moving during the pandemic,” said Sara Elghobashy, senior vice president of external affairs, Mission Society of New York City. “By curating a series of fun, apartment-friendly activities for the Mission Society’s virtual summer program, BOKS ensured that physical fitness remained a priority for families, keeping them active and healthy at home.”
In addition to this new grant program, BOKS has evolved its “Defenders of Physical Activity Awards” for the current environment and will be recognizing one outstanding school or non-profit youth organization with a $10,000 award at the end of 2020. Understanding that this will be a school year like no other, this award was established to honor those teachers, youth counselors, and most importantly students, that are creatively using the BOKS program to keep their minds and bodies active during this time. For more information on nominating a “Defender of Physical Activity” that you know, visit www.bokskids.org.
Jess Garbarino, BOKS
In today’s screen obsessed culture, kids are the least active generation in history. This sedentary lifestyle is negatively impacting both their physical, mental and social health. BOKS is a physical activity program designed to reverse this public health crisis by getting kids active and establishing a lifelong commitment to health and fitness. Built on the science and research documented in the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, BOKS provides free physical activity curriculum, training and support to communities looking to establish and maintain impactful fitness and nutrition programs serving the whole child. Having grown from a single elementary school to a global initiative, BOKS is scalable and its impact is supported by scientific research. BOKS envisions a world in which movement is a foundational part of every child’s day. For more information about BOKS visit www.bokskids.org.