boksThe New York Times yesterday reported on the positive impact of the before-school physical activity program from HOST member BOKS (Build Our Kids Success).

In "A Before-School Exercise Program May Help Children Thrive," Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times writes of a new study from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, which found that BOKS' one-hour, before-school exercise program improved children's health and happiness. Effects were most noticeable if the children participated at least three times a week.

The paper also noted BOKS' origins as an activity program organized by a group of mothers, which spread to other schools and is now used at over 3,000 schools worldwide.

The latest findings complement those from a 2015 study by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), which found that BOKS had a positive impact on working memory and shift, executive functions that enable children to hold information, complete tasks, carry out instructions, and transition between tasks. The study concluded that participation in BOKS is associated with enhanced readiness to learn, and can contribute not only to wellness but to school success.


    "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
Directions to NIOST

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