Experiment: Gym Class Helps Kids Read Better

Want to boost test scores in reading and math? Have kids exercise before tackling tough academic subjects.

It looks like all the school districts that have cut back or eliminated recess and physical education classes in order to spend more time on test prep are on the wrong track. According to results from a 3,000 student high school out in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, putting students who struggle in reading and math into physical education classes can shrink waistlines and boost academic performance.

PBS NewsHour recently highlighted the innovative exercise program at Naperville Central High School where freshman and sophomores start their school day with 7:45 a.m. workouts. Teachers were skeptical when the brains behind the program, retired physical education coordinator Paul Zientarski, first came up with the idea six years ago, but the results are impressive.

On average, kids who signed up for physical education directly before reading comprehension read half-a-year ahead of those who opted out of the exercise program.

And in math, the improvements were even more dramatic. Students with the benefit of P.E. before pre-algebra consistently did better, improving two to four times more than their peers on standardized tests.


Student Nadlene Alnass says that after P.E., she's able to, "focus more on to the teacher, more on the lessons, more on everything." Indeed, Naperville is one of the top performing school districts in Illinois and Zientarski believes plenty of credit should go to the fitness-based P.E. programs. He wants to spread the idea to other school districts around the nation. Unfortunately, that takes money.

If you watch the video above, the fitness facilities students at Naperville High have access to look like they're from a high-price gym like Crunch. Naperville schools are surely being hit by budget cuts, but the city also has a median household income of $101,894 to cushion the blow—a far cry from what's going on in low-income neighborhoods.

If getting in some exercise before starting school really does boost academic performance, what would it take to have fitness facilities like Naperville's in high schools labeled as dropout factories?

via Jim Browing / YouTube

Jim Browning is a YouTuber from the UK who has an amazing ability to catch scammers in the act.

In this video, he responds to a scam email claiming he bought a laptop by breaking into the scammer's computer. In the process he uncovers where the scammers work, their banking information, and even their personal identities.

"I got an 'invoice' email telling me that I had paid for a $3800 laptop," Browning writes on his YouTube page. "No links... just a phone number. It's a real shame that these scammers emailed me because I was able to find out exactly who they were and where the were."

Keep Reading
HG B / YouTube

Danielle Reno of Missouri left her car running and it was stolen by thieves. But she wasn't going to let her car go so easily.

For 48 hours this owner of a pet rescue tracked the charges being made on her credit card. Ultimately, she found her car at a local Applebee's, and then went after the thieves.

Keep Reading
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading