From One School
in Natick Massachusetts

To 10,000+ EnrollmentsAcross the Globe

In 2009, Kathleen Tullie, a mom and now Founder and Executive Director of BOKS, read the book, Spark, by Dr. John Ratey. The book clearly set forth the research as to why kids should be active before school and she was inspired to create a program at her children’s elementary school. With school approval and a group of passionate moms, BOKS was launched. Spread through “word of mom” the program grew virally across the U.S. Today, thanks to passionate volunteers and corporate sponsors, BOKS is getting kids active in schools and youth organizations across the globe.

Our Mission


Our Vision


BOKS was inspired by the book Spark, which found:

  • Exercise is… “Miracle-Grow for the Brain”
  • Aerobic activity shaped 19,000students from Naperville, Illinois making them the fittest and some of the smartest in the Nation
  • “Exercise is the single most powerful tool that we have to optimize the function of our brains”
Validated by Research

“Programs such as BOKS that help children not only develop healthy habits to promote optimal growth trajectories but also promote social and emotional skills that can help them better handle stress, peer interactions, and negative feelings are just what children need and should be broadly scaled. The program’s being school-based and run by volunteers gives it the potential of affecting a large number of children equitably without the need for substantial resources.”

Elsie Taveras, MD
MPH, chief of the MGHfC Division of General Academic Pediatrics

Elsie Taveras, MD

Better standardized ELA test results

Improved shift and working memory skills

Decreased body fat percentage; increased cardiovascular endurance; increased activity time outside of BOKS

Increased knowledge of nutritional and healthy living concepts

2022 BOKS by the Numbers


number of resource downloads


grant funding

BOKS Burst Subscribers

Kids Active in 2022

BOKS Video Views

New Resources in 2022

In the News

BOKS worked with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Reebok, and Project Backboard to revamp their 3rd basketball court together

Read more here

BOKS 2021 Impact Report

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about BOKS

Meet the BOKS Team

Laura J. Burati

Laura J. Burati

Program and Training Development Manager
Jay Dembro

Jay Dembro

Digital Platform Manager
Ally Dedrick

Ally Dedrick

Outreach & Training Manager
Michela North

Michela North

Marketing and Communications Manager
Jen Pascarelli, M.Ed.

Jen Pascarelli, M.Ed.

Physical Education Teacher and Training Team
Heidi McGrath

Heidi McGrath

Customer Relations Manager
Heather Chase, M.Ed.

Heather Chase, M.Ed.

Training and Content Specialist
Cheri Levitz

Cheri Levitz

Senior Advisor/Consultant
Nancy Day

Nancy Day

Regional Program Support

Meet the BOKS Advisory Board

Mary Ann Bryan

Interim Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services and Support of Weymouth Public Schools

Cedric Bryant

President & Chief Science Officer, American Council of Exercise (ACE Fitness)

Jeff Bellows

Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Public Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Dr. Jennifer Curtis-Whipple

Superintendent of Weymouth Public Schools

Kevin Greer

Partner, Learn to Earn Fund, New Profit

Di Hayes

Senior Vice President of Global Business, International Tennis Hall of Fame

David Kaplan

Co-Founder and Managing Member, Shepard-Kaplan LLC

Rene Kloosterman

Senior Manager FP&A Group Functions at adidas group

Cheri Levitz

Co-Founder, BOKS

William Nystrom

Founder, Nystrom Beckman & Paris

Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH

Chief, Division of General Academic Pediatrics, MGH & Executive Director, Kraft Center for Community Health, MGH

Kristi Pourmousa

Vehicle Product Training Specialist, Toyota USA

Dr. John Ratey

Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Neuropsychiatry Expert

Neal Taylor

Vice President Global Brand Operations, Reebok

Faith Weiner

Senior Director Community Relations & Corporate Philanthropy