From our Founder
We faced another incredibly challenging year in 2021. As the world learned to live with the pandemic, its impact on both our mental and physical health became much clearer. As we focused on one public health crisis, we escalated both the mental and physical health crisis in our kids.
In a December 7, 2021 Advisory, the U.S. Surgeon General stated that the pandemic has added to the already severe pre-existing challenges on mental health. Between 2019 and 2021, emergency room visits for suicide attempts went up 51% for young girls, and 4% for boys. Rates of depression and anxiety doubled during that time, with 25% of kids reporting depressive symptoms and 20% with anxiety. With the COVID lockdowns and increased social media usage kids were at an increased rate of mental health issues which led to a coalition of the nation’s leading experts in pediatric health declaring a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health.
This should be a wake-up call to all that something needs to change.
While the data is stark, I do believe there is a solution. Let the private and public sectors put resourses into creating preventative measures to ensure kids mental and physical health is a priority. To that end, I have a huge sense of gratitude to the global BOKS community, who through the many challenges of the pandemic have remained persistent in its efforts to bring the benefits of movement to our kids. With funding from our partners, we were able to provide FREE curriculums and training to over 500,000 kids this year alone. We know that the health of our kids is just as important as their success in the classroom. It is time that we rethink the school day and include opportunities for every child to move and play to ensure their mental health is thriving.
In the spring of 2021, we announced the results of a research study conducted by Dalhousie University School of Health and Human Performance in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Results of the eight-week study showed that despite challenges brought on by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, parents of participating BOKS students noticed improvements in their child’s mood, energy level and sleep. During times of uncertainty and increased stress, the BOKS program can be used as a tool to improve a child’s overall wellbeing. Check out the results of the study here. This gives me so much hope for 2022.
As we look ahead to a new year, I hope that you all remember what’s most important for you as an individual and what’s most important to your family. Make your mental and physical health a priority. Play is medicine so no matter what challenges you have faced we hope you’ll go into 2022 with a new tool in your belt to have a happy and healthy year.
BOKS Founder & Executive Director
BOKS program positively impacts kids’ mental health
In spring 2021, we were excited to announce the results of a research study conducted by Dalhousie University School of Health and Human Performance in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Results of the eight-week study showed that during times of uncertainty and increased stress, the BOKS program can be used as a tool to improve a child’s overall wellbeing. Despite challenges brought on by the lockdowns, parents of participating students noticed improvements in their child’s mood, energy level and sleep. Check out the results of the study here. This research supports the work BOKS is doing and will continue to do. Click on the video below.
“The positive impact that BOKS has had on children’s physical, emotional and social wellbeing during the pandemic has been incredible” said Dr. Jeff Zahavich, from Dalhousie’s School of Health and Human Performance, Kinesiology Division.
BOKS Global Impact
2021 BOKS by the Numbers
Total BOKS Burst Program Subscribers 0
Kids Active in 2021 0
BOKS Training Attendees 0
BOKS Video Views 0
New Resources in 2021 0
BOKS Resources Making a Difference
The BOKS team continues to generate meaningful, fresh and fun resources to support individuals, families and school communities to keep moving, in person, remotely and at a distance. In 2021, we created 10 monthly calendars, developed 16 new resources and updated the Burst document and the Elementary and Middle School Physical Activity Plans.
BOKS in the news
New York Times Feature: Getting Kids to Move More
Exercise scientists and coaches offer tips on getting young people to be more active. When we asked readers recently what they wanted to know about the coronavirus and exercise, many parents responded with variations of the question — or in some instances, the cri de coeur — of how do I get my kids [...] Read More
Reebok to Provide $100,000 to 10 Lucky BOKS Programs ($10,000 Each!)
Reebok & BOKS are Getting Kids Active throughout the Nation by Increasing Movement Opportunities (BOSTON, MA) January 25, 2021 — Today Reebok and BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success), an initiative of the Reebok Foundation, announced that they will provide 10 underserved schools and nonprofit youth organizations across the nation who are utilizing BOKS resources to [...] Read More
AFTER-SCHOOL ALL-STARS (ASAS)
Through a partnership with After-School All-Stars (ASAS), BOKS supports seven ASAS chapters and helps over 2,000 kids get physically activity every day. ASAS participating chapters shared that 83% of students reported exercising regularly, 72% reported a positive attitude towards eating healthy foods and 62% reported daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. The ASAS D.C. chapter appreciates that BOKS offers easily implemented resources to engage students in a fun and healthy way. In 2022, we will continue to support ASAS chapters and hope to expand into new ones!