ALEXANDRIA,VA- Walk through the doors of Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School on any given morning and chances are high you will see children engrossed in a book while riding bikes — albeit stationary ones. Head over to our Chance for Change Academy or Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology and you will find similar scenes as students study and cycle at the same time. And soon, Mount Vernon Community School will be excitedly welcoming their own fleet.
For April Rodgers, physical education teacher and founding staff member at Ferdinand T. Day, the value of the bikes is immeasurable. “From helping children with autism to focus, to physical well-being to boosting brain power, the possibilities are endless. Learning to incorporate movement into their day gives our students a strategy for life. They are empowered by learning that movement is so important,” said Rodgers, who was named ACPS teacher of the year in April.
Dr. Rene Cadogan is the principal at the ACPS Chance for Change Academy, an alternative high school classroom environment that caters to students who need a different setting to the traditional school setting.
He took delivery of seven stationary bikes last year and can vouch for the benefits. “When we have students who come here stressed or angry we find spending five to ten minutes on the bikes gets the frustration out and we often use them to prepare for the day,” he explained. “We’ve noticed a big difference — the students go into class engaged and levels of concentration have improved.”