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Could This Be? This New Program Gets Kids To Read AND Stay Active At The Same Time!

Children have a lot of energy and often find it difficult to sit still during reading time at school. They often fidget and just can’t seem to focus on the task at hand. A new program called “Read and Ride” is designed to harness that energy to help kids focus and become better readers.

As reported by UpWorthy, founder Steve Ertl came up with the idea when the only time he could make to read books was while riding the stationary bike at the gym. If biking helped him read, he thought, then maybe it would work for his students at Ward Elementary in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as well. Using Craigslist and garage sales, he gathered up enough bikes to fill an entire unused classroom.

He then allowed teachers to sign their classes up for 15 to 20 minute blocks to use the bikes while reading.

The bikes instantly became a huge hit with the students. Those who often found it frustrating to sit still while reading discovered that they could focus better while getting out all their pent-up energy. Teachers noted that reading proficiency and test scores were improving as well.

Ertl isn’t the only one seeing results from this innovative program. Kelly O’Brien and Amanda Gilmore of Glenridge Middle School in Orlando, Florida heard Ertl’s story and decided to implement the program at their school, too. In less than a week, they began to see results. Gilmore said, “Some of the kids who weren’t coming to class on time are now on time, if not early. They’re eager to get on the bikes and read.”


As of 2015, schools in over 30 states across the United States have implemented “Read and Ride” or other similar fitness-based programs. These programs even help students who are not athletically gifted gain more confidence in their physical abilities.

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