Eudora Middle School starts Read and Ride program

Eudora Middle School recently started a Read and Ride program through a LiveWell Community Wellness Grant from the Douglas County Community Foundation and funding from the Eudora Schools Foundation.

“The concept of the Read and Ride program is that the kids slowly pedal their stationary bikes while reading their books,” said Mitch Tegtmeier, sixth grade PE/health instructor. “The slow pedal is aimed to increase blood flow to the brain, which has proven to increase reading retention and comprehension. Furthermore, studies by the University of California have linked light to moderate exercise to increased memory levels, as well as abilities to recall information.”

With help from Dick’s Sporting Goods, 12 recumbent stationary bikes were purchased, assembled and placed in the middle school’s library last month. Full Bright Sign and Lighting and Jock’s Nitch Sporting Goods teamed up to create and fund an eye-grabbing banner that hangs above the bikes.

“The Read and Ride lab would not have been possible without the hard work and financial commitments from the numerous local supporters,” Tegtmeier said. “In its first month, the it has been a huge success and has created a lot of buzz at the middle school.”

In just 22 school days, middle school students and staff have collectively burned more than 45,000 calories and traveled 2,500 miles.

“This program has not only been a great model for promoted fitness but has brought a sense of excitement back to reading, which is a primary focus of Common Core and the Multi-Tier Systems of Support framework,” Tegtmeier said. “The utilization of this resource will continue to support our educational goals of increasing literacy while fighting obesity along the way.”

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