For our kindergarten Dual Language Education program students, it’s pedal-to-the-metal when it comes to reading!
A successful crowd-funding campaign will allow students to use six exercise bike pedals — small enough to fit under a desk or table — while they read.
Teacher Cynthia Bell-Jimenez started the campaign in summer after seeing research that showed, “riding exercise bikes makes reading fun for many kids who get frustrated when they read.”
By providing an outlet for movement, the pedals also help students who have trouble sitting still for long periods of time.
Other schools have taken such a project a step further and outfitted entire classrooms with full-size upright or recumbent bikes.
At one North Carolina school the bikes not only helped kids burn calories and get some exercise, their learning improved. The elementary school analyzed testing data and found that students who had spent the most time in the program achieved an 83% proficiency in reading, while those who spent the least time in the program had failing scores—only 41% proficiency.
The bike pedals will be shared among the DLE kindergarten classrooms and used during Spanish language arts time periods.
It only took three donors to reach the fundraising goal of $233. Donations came from a woman in Florida, an anonymous donor and from Carmen Rivers, an associate lecturer at nearby UW-Whitewater.
“I teach Early Childhood Education in a dual license program at UW-Whitewater, and I was touched by the thoughtfulness of the request you made and your reasons for asking for it,” Prof. Rivers posted on the DonorsChoose.org crowd-funding webpage that Bell-Jimenez set up. “It matches my beliefs about what children need in an education environment.”
Bell-Jimenez is hopeful a second crowd-funding campaign will double the number of bikes available. That, hopefully, will continue an upward trend in reading comprehension for Delavan-Darien students.