BOKS Fitness Program

BOKS (Build Our Kids’ Success)

Spring Session Starts Tuesday, March 29th!

We are pleased to announce the Spring 2022 session of BOKS, a before school physical activity program, at the Thoreau School. BOKS is a nationally-recognized, before-school fitness program. Studies show that engaging in physical activity before school boosts kids’ ability to learn and retain information. After the first session at Thoreau, Thoreau teachers reported a positive difference in kids enrolled in the program! BOKS prepares children for a day of learning and is an important step in helping children gain an appreciation of the benefits of exercise and healthy choices that will last a lifetime. BOKS was inspired by Dr. John Ratey’s book “Spark”. Dr. Ratey, of Harvard Medical School, states that “exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains.” Classes are filled with team-oriented games and provide plenty of opportunity for play, since the program focuses on fun!  For more information on the program, please visit

Typical BOKS Class

  • Fun warm-up game or movement drills
  • Running activity, relay races, obstacle courses and strength movements 
  • Fun games
  • Cool down and a BOKS Bit- a nutrition component of the program

When is BOKS?

Our spring BOKS program will run every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 8 to 8:50 AM, beginning on March 29th and ending on May 26th. Your child is expected to attend all classes as long as they are well and physically able to participate.  We are unable to accommodate early drop-offs so if you have to drop your child off before 8am, please make arrangements with the before school program.

How do I sign up?

This spring we are accepting registrations online here.   30 children may participate in this session – sign up early to confirm your child’s spot!  Registrations will be accepted starting Tuesday, March 15 at 8 AM, and confirmations will be sent Monday, March 21. After the first 30 registrations are received, additional students will be placed on the waitlist.

Special Considerations for Covid

WE CAN USE THE GYM AGAIN!  For those who participated in the fall, you know the challenges we had with being limited to field and basketball court usage.  All outdoor gatherings will be back on the basketball court by the lower playground, and if we need to move inside due to inclement weather, we will use the Thoreau gym.  We will follow all Massachusetts Youth Outdoor Sports mask mandates and therefore masks will be optional. If the guidance changes, we will adjust our plan as needed.  Additional information on drop off location and check in procedures will follow when your student is registered.

Is there transportation for BOKS?

Parents will be responsible for transporting their children to BOKS. Children who attend the before school program are eligible to enroll and participate.  A BOKS volunteer will collect these children from the before school program and escort them to BOKS.  All other children must be escorted to the BOKS meeting point near the upper playground by a responsible adult and signed in with a BOKS volunteer.

Will the nurse be available during BOKS?

No.  The school nurse will not arrive at school until BOKS is well underway. The Lead Trainer is certified in CPR/AED and has a first aid kit and ice packs at all times.  Any medication stored in the nurse’s office will be unavailable during the program.  School policy prohibits students from carrying medication, including epi-pens and inhalers, in their backpacks.  BOKS volunteers are unable to administer any type of medication.  If you think your child may need medication during the program, including epi pens and/or inhalers, please plan to stay with your child.

Is there a charge?

No!  BOKS is a free program.  All the trainers have graciously volunteered their time and should be treated with the utmost respect and appreciation. Program materials are free and equipment has been purchased by the PTG.  

Please note that this program varies depending on the make-up of the kids participating and as such we are constantly making changes to improve the program.  Please bear with us as we may need to make changes and adjustments as the program proceeds.

BOKS is designed to involve the whole community. The more volunteers, the more kids we can enroll in the program.  Volunteers’ children are automatically enrolled in the program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Melissa at