Announcing our first Defender of Physical Activity Award Winner: Memorial Elementary in Natick!

Congratulations to Memorial Elementary in Natick for being the first recipient of the BOKS Defender of Physical Activity Award. As our first ever BOKS school, Memorial has been an exemplary program to which all of our other BOKS schools have been modeled from and as such, was an easy choice to receive our first recognition.

Under the leadership of Physical Education Teacher and 2019 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Finalist, Jenney Pascarelli, Memorial has been improving the physical and mental health of its students since 2009. With close to 100 participants per session, Jenney’s program continuously proves its strength and commitment to getting kids active.

“For me, running BOKS has been worth the extra time because it teaches so much more than just health and wellness,” said Jenney. “BOKS teaches the whole student – physically, mentally and socially. The kids who enter BOKS in kindergarten mature into leaders by the 4th grade. I’m proud of the longevity of the program here in Natick and appreciative of all of the trainers, our Principal Susan Balboni and the school community who have helped make this such a successful initiative in Natick for the past 10 years,” she added.

To recognize Memorial, the school has received:

  • A letter of recognition from Founder and Executive Director of BOKS, Kathleen Tullie and Dr. John Ratey, author, Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
  • “Defender of Physical Activity” Trophy for the school;
  • $300 grant for their BOKS program;
  • BOKS “Defender of Physical Activity” T-shirts for BOKS trainers and all enrolled program students;
  • BOKS “Defender of Physical Activity” medals for all enrolled participants;
  • Eligibility for entry in the “BOKS Defender of Physical Activity Program of the Year” contest – the winner of which will receive a $2,500 grant to support BOKS programming.

Interested in nominating your BOKS program to win our monthly Defender of Physical Activity Award?

Be sure to check out our eligibility requirements and prepare the following:

  • Describe the BOKS program in 300-400 words and tell us why it should be considered.
  • 2-3 photos or 1 short video clip highlighting the program (must have permission from school to post / share on our channels and consent forms from children featured)
  • Submissions sent via email to:– Subject line: BOKS Defenders of Physical Activity submission
  • Nominations will be accepted on a rolling basis.