From 1 to 1000: reflections from the first BOKS school in Canada

BOKS Canada now has 1000 schools enrolled in the BOKS program!

To celebrate our 1000th school enrollment, let’s take it way back, to our very first Canadian BOKS school, and see how BOKS has positively impacted kids, staff, and the school community.

This is what Don Hutchinson, Principal of Ranch Park Elementary School in Coquitlam BC, and our very first volunteer had to say:

Ranch Park Elementary has been involved with the BOKS program since 2014. We were first introduced to the program while attending a Neuroplasticity conference and listening to Dr. Ratey. Dr. Ratey stressed the importance of physical activity and how it prepares the brain for the day. Ranch Park registered with BOKS and was the first school in Canada to do so. Since then it has been a staple with our extracurricular activities.

Ranch Park offers the program between two and four days per week, depending on the number of students who register. We have had over 120 students register out of a population of 230.Currently we have 30 students attend two days week.

In the initial stages, BOKS was lead by the Principal and two supporting teachers. Now we have created a network where six neighbouring elementary schools are registered and each of their sessions are facilitated by high school leadership students.

Registering and implementing the BOKS program has been very beneficial for our community. Not only do the sessions get the brain ”ready” for the school day, they also provide leadership opportunities for both our senior students and high school students, siblings get to be active together, students learn new games, and each lesson ends with a nutrition “tip of the day”.

Being part of the BOKS Program has also presented many other opportunities for our students. You may see them on the BOKS commercial/advertisement shown during CFL games. They were also featured on the Breakfast Television show here in Vancouver along side Kathleen Tullie, founder of BOKS. They also had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the Grey Cup parade held here in Vancouver. Something they will never forget.

As you can see, having the BOKS Program has been a true success at Ranch Park. We highly encourage all schools to be become involved and be “active”.

 

Don Hutchinson

Principal – Ranch Park Elementary (First school enrolled at BOKS)