WellesleyWeston Magazine


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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Page 142 of 211

those who demonstrated these qualities dur- ing the session. When BOKS is over, the kids head to their classrooms with rosy cheeks and smiles on their faces, ready to learn. "What you can't see happening is the pro- found transformation occurring inside the brain," explains Cavallerano. "Exercise engages the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for high-level cognitive functions including self-knowledge and memory. This neural fitness not only preps the mind post- BOKS but also supports the growth of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). As Dr. Ratey likes to point out, "BDNF is Miracle- Gro for the brain." Cavallerano also uses BOKS as an oppor- tunity to teach kids about empathy and teamwork. "It takes a lot of proactive steps to prevent bullying and build resilient kids. BOKS is about mind, body, and spirit. We teach kids to be strong and healthy so they're better able to take care of themselves and those around them." At one BOKS session, a custodian was carrying two large tables out- side by himself. Without being asked, a group of BOKS kids spontaneously ran over to help him carry them. "That's the spirit of BOKS at work," Cavallerano adds. Hunnewell's Physical Education teacher Toni Duval partnered with Cavallerano to lead the pilot last year. She is thrilled with the program. "BOKS helps supplement what we do in PE class. Our students only have PE once a week for 45 minutes or twice for 30 141 s p r i n g 2 0 1 4 | W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e

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