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Pedaling to success: Wake County program helps students channel energy

Posted September 1

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— Twiddling fingers and tapping toes are common to most middle school students. But a new program in Wake County is working to tackle the issue by channeling a student's energy in another way.

Bethany Lambeth, an 8th grade math teacher, said she was trying to solve the problem of fidgeting kids when she thought of cycling.

"I think the world is changing a lot and the kids need to be able to do something different," Lambeth said. "What we've been doing is not necessarily working."

Sofia Fedele, one of Lambeth's students, said moving around a bit helps her focus on her work.

"I usually tap my feet and stuff...just because it keeps me focused," she said.

The 8th grader said she noticed that pedaling gave her an outlet for all her pent-up energy.

"It keeps me exercising and focused," Fedele said.

Lambeth said she began using desk cycles at the end of last year.

"Before, they were drumming on their desks, they were touching other people, they don't do that anymore. Their feet are getting the movement out," she said. "There has been a huge increase in the quality of our student's work and a decrease in the amount of missing work."

Quinn Spear said he pedaled 5.5 miles and burned 133 calories, all before 10 a.m.

"I'm a really energetic person, so this takes all my energy out," Spear said.

Each desk cycle costs less than $150, which includes a warranty. The cycles were paid for by a private donation and a grant from the 4-C fund. No taxpayer money was used.

"(The kids) are not picking on each other, they are not needing to walk around, they are not needing to go explore, they are able to get their activity out and get their work done," Lambeth said.

School officials said they hope desk cycles will make an even greater difference in Special Education classes.


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