Before-school exercise program helps elementary kids focus - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Before-school exercise program helps elementary kids focus

PHOENIX (CBS5) -

It's all fun and games before school at Canyon Springs School in Anthem but the fun has a purpose - to give kids exercise before they sit down to learn.

The program, called Boks, is the first of its kind in Arizona. 

James Emler, who takes part in the program, explains what it's all about.

"Well, it gets rid of some of my energy and my mom told me that when you get exercise you think better," James said.

Before school, kids exercise for about 40 minutes. But they're not just running laps or doing push-ups, they are playing games that are fun.

"My favorite game, I think would probably be flag tag," said James.

"They are ready to go in the morning. They sit down, they get all of their work done, focus a lot more throughout the day until lunch," said Tricia Graham, the principal at Canyon Springs School.

The school takes the first 30 or 40 kids that sign up for the program. Not only do the kids exercise, but they learn a lot about how to eat healthy.

"I was shocked by the end of one lesson. The first graders were telling me the different macro nutrients ... how to find a healthy snack," said Chris Clute, program instructor.

"If you put a Cheeto under the water, flavoring comes down. That means it's not healthy," said Emma Hinds, a student who takes part in the program.

Canyon Springs is the first school in Arizona to take part in the Active Schools Acceleration Project.

The project is awarding $1 million in grants to give schools across the country.

ASAP is awarding 1,000 elementary schools each with these grants. It gives the school seed funding, a game plan to follow and support network of schools across the country taking part.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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