WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 140 "mind, body, and spirit" fitness & health ported by Reebok and depends on the participation of parents and volunteers, the program is free to schools. Chris Cavallerano, social entrepreneur by day and lead BOKS trainer by morning, success- fully piloted the program at Wellesley's Hunnewell School last year. "I had been exercising with my boys (now ages 13, 11, and 9) in my driveway before school and other neighborhood kids started to join us," says Cavallerano. "I knew Kathleen Tullie through our gym and she told me about BOKS." He now coordinates BOKS for the entire Wellesley School district. In addition to Hunnewell, Wellesley also successfully piloted the program at Fiske and Schofield last year and launched at Wellesley's other elementary schools last January. Hunnewell currently has 80 kids signed up for the program. Half attend Monday and Wednesday mornings, the other half on Tuesdays and Thursdays. BOKS may differ from a typical physical education class in many ways. "The curriculum is specifically designed for a mix of ages and we teach kids functional physical activity through play," explains Cavallerano. He runs the program outside whenever he can. "I believe that fresh air is the best air and once the kids start running around, they begin peeling off layers. Last year we were only inside for five days." The Hunnewell BOKS team also launched a pilot partnership with Wellesley Whole Foods, which provides healthy foods for kids to try. "All it takes is for one kid to try a green smoothie and say, 'that's awesome' to get the other kids to try it," adds Cavallerano. At a typical BOKS session, upbeat Top 40 tunes set the tone. Kids and trainers warm up together by jumping rope, shooting baskets, and jogging around the courtyard. They start with a cheer for all the BOKS stars then learn the "skill of the week," such as a jump squat, which is incorporated in a team-building activity like a relay race. That's followed by a game such as "Toilet Tag," which is "both functional and fun," says Cavallerano. "It keeps kids moving while also making them squat in place and hold up their arm. And they can't start running again until their arm is 'flushed' by another kid." The morning comes to a close with a cool-down and yoga stretches, and then it's time for BOKS Bits where the kids learn about nutrition. Lastly, FEAT (Friendship, Effort, Attitude, and Teamwork) awards, in the shape of little feet, are given out to "Exercise is the single most powerful tool we have to optimize the function of our brains." – D r. J o h n R a t e y, H a r v a r d M e d i c a l S c h o o l

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