If you’ve ever been within 50 feet of a first-grader, you’ll know one thing: they like to move. A lot. Reading, however, is a bit more of a challenge, which is why elementary school teacher Scott Ertl came up with a brilliant idea. Instead of forcing kids to read quietly in a corner, Ertl stationed a bunch of donated bikes in a classroom, and had his students cycle while they read!
With the help of Craigslist and garage sales, he outfitted an entire spare classroom with stationary exercise bikes.
Teachers signed their classes up for 15- to 20-minute blocks of time in the bike room, and students brought a book or picked up an educational magazine. The program was dubbed Read and Ride.
Data compiled by the school showed that reading test scores and proficiency had improved as a result of the program – plus, the longer students spent in the Read and Ride room, the better they did on state reading tests.
“Riding exercise bikes makes reading fun for many kids who get frustrated when they read,” said Scott Ertl, who started the program. “They have a way to release that frustration they feel while they ride.”
The combination of reading and exercising, the article said, “burns calories, but it turns out that it also helps students learn better,” according to educationworld.
The program has now spread to 30 states across the US, with some using, under-desk ellipticals, Bouncy Bands and exercise balls instead of bikes.