Funded through the Bettendorf Community School Foundation, BMS Parent Link and BMS Activity Fund
Middle school students are always on the move. They often have to sit for long periods of time, especially with Bettendorf Middle School’s block scheduling. In an effort to promote student physical fitness, encourage reading achievement, deter poor behavior choices, and offer flexible seating options in the learning environment, the Bettendorf Middle School library media center has introduced a “Read & Ride” option into the library environment. The “Read & Ride” program offers students not only an alternative seating option, but a physical fitness option that simultaneously encourages reading and prevents poor behavior choices.
The “Read & Ride” program consists of four stationary exercise bikes for students to ride/exercise while reading, which gives students the opportunity to ride and read, while relieving stress and improving task focus. Furthermore, the stationary bikes are another incentive to get students into the library and get a book in their hands!
Studies shows that this type of physical activity “increases blood flow to the brain, sharpens neurological function and improves concentration."
With the assistance of language arts teachers at all three grade levels (6, 7, 8), “pilot groups” will soon be organized based on teacher-recommendation and student interest, with the goal of obtaining a cross-section of low, middle, and high reading achievement students. Students from the pilot groups will have their reading performance tracked using a variety of measures.
Additionally, working with BMS special education teachers, particularly those who work with students with behavior plans, pilot groups will be organized and parameters for usage and measurement will be set up. These students often need frequent breaks and the exercise bikes would offer an excellent opportunity to expend some energy and “blow off some steam.”
If we had space, I would love to add more stationary bikes to the library or even create a room/space that teachers could “check-out” to bring in a whole class to “Read & Ride.”