BOKS Longitudinal Evaluation


Project Director: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
Team Members: Julie Dennehy, M.M., Stephanie Harris, M.A. and Diane Gruber

NIOST conducted 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. Over 400 grade K-2 participants enrolled in the study. The Specific Aims for the study were to examine and document child-level learning related, social, nutrition knowledge, and physical activity outcomes associated with participation in BOKS over time.










Multi-year Study Highlights - December 2013>

Research Brief - May 2013 >

Research Brief - January 2013>


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.

Dr. Georgia Hall, 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.


    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
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