First Lady Michelle Obama Praises Reebok for $30 Million Commitment to Get Kids Moving
Today, at the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Annual Building a Healthier Future Summit, First Lady Michelle Obama praised Reebok for its commitment of $30 million to get kids moving and increase physical activity in schools as part of the new Let’s Move! Active Schools program. Reebok, the global fitness brand, has already invested more than $5 million over the last three years to provide access to fitness for elementary school children through the BOKS program, a free, before school physical activity program that is currently in hundreds of elementary schools around the country. Over the next three years, Reebok will commit $30 million to organizations and activities that promote physical activity and fitness. An important part of this commitment is to successfully grow the BOKS program.
NY Giants Quarterback and BOKS Ambassador Eli Manning joined First Lady Michelle Obama in announcing Reebok's $30 million commitment to getting kids moving. (Photo: Business Wire)
First Lady Michelle Obama said, “Just last week, we launched Let’s Move! Active Schools, an unprecedented effort to promote physical activity and bring physical education back to our schools. And today, we are beyond thrilled to announce that Reebok is joining this effort with a commitment to get our kids active. Reebok’s commitment is exactly the kind of leadership we need to ensure our kids get the healthy lives they deserve.”
“We are extremely proud to be recognized for our work by the first lady and PHA,” said Reebok CMO Matt O’Toole. “At Reebok, we are committed to getting American’s moving. It is the purpose behind everything we do, and our BOKS program is a great example of how we’re putting this into action. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the first lady for bringing this incredibly important issue to the forefront. With her backing, I am confident we can create real change and improve people’s lives.”
The first lady continued, “I look forward to more businesses and organizations coming to the table to help get our kids moving every day, and encourage parents, teachers and administrators to sign up at LetsMoveSchools.org to become champions for activity in their schools.”
Also at the event, two-time Super Bowl MVP and BOKS Ambassador Eli Manning said, “When Reebok introduced me to the BOKS program, I was hooked immediately. Anything I can do to ensure that kids growing up today have the same passion for sports and fitness that I do, is something that is very important to me. Through BOKS, we are encouraging these kids to lead a healthier and happier life, and we need to keep encouraging more kids throughout the country. Our influence as parents, teachers, athletes, and public figures, has the power to change the mindset of the next generation, and inspire them to embrace an active lifestyle.”
The BOKS program is expected to grow to more than 600 schools next year, and more than 1,000 by 2015.
“As we strive to make the healthy choice the easy choice, when it comes to physical activity BOKS and Reebok are bringing programs and inspiration to kids where they are: at school,” said PHA President and CEO Larry Soler. “As we look to fight America’s physical inactivity epidemic, we are proud to have Reebok and the BOKS program as partners in this effort.”
BOKS, is a non-profit, before school physical activity program for elementary school kids that was started by a group of Moms and is backed by the Reebok Foundation. BOKS began at one Massachusetts school in 2010 and has since expanded to over 200 schools around the world. The program, which is run almost solely by volunteers, was inspired by “Spark,” a book by Harvard Medical School professor Dr. John Ratey that demonstrates the profound impact that exercise has on the mind. A recent NIOST (National Institute on Out-of-School Time) study conducted on behalf BOKS validates the stance that exercise, especially before school, can have a dramatic impact on both classroom performance and behavior. Research demonstrates that physically active kids do better academically and behaviorally, and schools are a great place for boosting children’s physical activity.
In addition, as part of its overall commitment to PHA, Reebok has teamed up with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to be a resource to schools enrolled in the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program. Reebok will help further develop “BOKS Burst,” a condensed version of the BOKS curriculum comprised of 2-to 5-minute physical activity breaks for teachers around the country to use. The BOKS Burst program will be distributed to 14,000 Alliance for a Healthier Generation schools, reaching an estimated 2 million youth.
Reebok’s BOKS program has received national acclaim and multiple awards including being a Social Innovation finalist, spotlighted on The First Lady Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Active Schools website as a success story. BOKS was also named one of nine winners in ChildObesity180's Active Schools Acceleration Project Innovation (ASAP) Innovation Competition in recognition of its creative and impactful school-based physical activity programming. For more information, visit www.ActiveSchoolsASAP.org.
Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, MA, USA, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. An American-inspired global brand, Reebok is a pioneer in the sporting goods industry with a rich and storied heritage in running, training and fitness. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, Reebok operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com. Or, discover Reebok at the following locations: http://reesha.re/plus; http://facebook.com/reebok; http://twitter.com/reebok; and http://youtube.com/reebok