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ERIC Number: EJ1083904
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Before the School Bell Rings: How a Before-School Physical Activity Program Improves Executive Functions
Hall, Georgia; Poston, Kristen Fay; Harris, Stephanie
Afterschool Matters, n22 p54-58 Fall 2015
Across the country, school administrators and educators struggle to find time for children to engage in physical activity while still giving them enough time in academic instruction. The steep rise in childhood obesity in the U.S. (National Center for Health Statistics, 2011; Ogden, Carroll, Kit, & Flegal, 2014) suggests that the concern is urgent. However, the need to meet accountability standards puts pressure in the direction of more "seat time" rather than physical activity time. Research suggests that the tension between physical activity and academic achievement rests on a false dichotomy. Physical activity can and does support children's learning: Providing children with opportunities for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity can help them improve their academic performance. In keeping with this research, this article describes a before-school physical activity program called BOKS (Build Our Kids' Success) launched during the 2009-2010 school year with a pilot program at one elementary school in the Natick Public School district in Natick, Massachusetts. The authors then describe a three year investigation of how a before-school physical activity program like BOKS can support the positive development of young children and support school learning. In particular they examined whether program participation was associated with "executive functions" such as working memory and the ability to shift between tasks.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Social Skills Rating System
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A