Walk into Claudia Scotti’s second grade class at Hopewell Elementary School during reading time and you will see students sitting quietly at their desks and a few students pedaling stationary bikes with their books resting on their handlebars.
Proposed by Mrs. Scotti, Hopewell Elementary’s teacher of the year, the initiative provides children with additional opportunities to exercise during the academic day. Research by the Read and Ride program indicates that students experience improvements in both literacy and health.
“Children are not only building reading stamina, but also strengthening their bodies through exercise. It’s a win-win!” said Mrs. Scotti.
The Read and Ride program started several years ago and is currently in 30 states across the nation, including the Hopewell Elementary School. Principal David Friedrich and his staff like the results they are seeing.
“The list of teachers at HES who have requested a bike literally grows daily,” Principal Friedrich shared. “Once again, our community has partnered with us to donate unused stationary bikes. Without their support, this initiative would not be possible. Since launching in mid-December, we have received 4 stationary bikes and have commitments for 3 more.”
Individuals looking to donate a sturdy, working, stationary bike are encouraged to contact the Hopewell Elementary School at 609 737-4007.
PHOTO: Second graders Augie Reynertson and Abram Wojciechowicz