The Read and Ride program at Highland Park Elementary is a win-win set up for better reading and for the health of the readers.

Read and RideAll around the nation, standing desks and bouncy balls are allowing movement while learning.  The idea is that movement improves performance.

Two dozen stationary bikes are in Highland Park Elementary’s Read and Ride room.  Students read books and pedal during regularly scheduled time in the library.

“We have our students at school seven-and-a-half hours a day, and that’s a long time,” said Vanette Barnett, principal of the district’s elementary school. “To be able to provide some movement and help in their physical well-being, on top of learning, just seems like a win-win.”

The time on the stationary bikes is in addition to the regular recess time.

“Active learning gives kids an opportunity to release extra energy, anxiety and frustration in a positive and appropriate way. Otherwise, they resort to inappropriate and negative ways to get movement,” said Scott Ertl, who initially began the research on movement and learning in North Carolina. “For example, kids will break their pencil to get up and go sharpen it,” he said. “They’ll ask to use the bathroom or get a drink of water five or 10 times a day.”

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