This School Gets Kids to Read—By Giving Them a Bike

The best way to improve reading scores? Fill a classroom with stationary bikes.

Image via Read and Ride

If you’ve ever been within 50 feet of a first-grader, you’ll know one thing: they like to move. A lot. Reading, however, is a bit more of a challenge, which is why elementary school teacher Scott Ertl came up with a brilliant idea. Instead of forcing kids to read quietly in a corner, Ertl stationed a bunch of donated bikes in a classroom, and had his students cycle while they read. The results?

Amazing, of course.

Known as “Read and Ride,” Ertl’s initiative seems to have already had a real impact. According to Upworthy, students who participated in the program saw a real increase in reading scores on statewide tests. And while the results may be significant, the model is deceptively simple (and brilliantly strange). Students simply pick up a book or magazine, hop on a bike, and for the next 20 minutes, read silently. As they exercise their bodies, they’re also able to exercise their—you’ve got it—brains.

When Ertl first came up with the idea, he was optimistic, but not convinced: “I bet a bunch of kids would find it fun to read while exercising... we could get some exercise bikes and give it a shot.” Now, “Read and Ride” had been replicated informally in 30 states, and the trend appears to be growing. To learn more about the organization or to donate a bike, check out their website here.

(Via: Upworthy)

via Alan Levine / Flickr

The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

Keep Reading Show less

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

Keep Reading Show less