‘Desk cycles’ helping energetic students focus on academics

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.- One Charlotte County school thinks they’ve found the answer to help active and energetic students focus on their academics.

“I’m so hyper, so it kind of helps me concentrate cause I like to keep moving my feet so I’ll just keep pedaling and stuff and it helps me keep myself out of trouble and keep my eyes on the board,” said Maleke Freeman, a fourth grader at Meadow Park Elementary School.

Freeman is one of many students at his school who now uses the desk cycle. The silent cycles are said to help students focus. Research shows exercise enhances production of dopamine and norepinephrine, chemicals that assist the brain in focusing.

“Some are a little bit more active and they need that extra time to get the wiggles out,” said Jolie Jordan, a kindergarten teacher at Meadow Park Elementary.

The cycles were originally ordered for the school district’s “Emotional Behavior Disorder Unit,” students who have attention deficit or conduct disorders.

“We had a need for students who are academically and sometimes behaviorally challenged and we were looking for way to help,” said Meadow Park Elementary Principal Asena Mott.

But now Principal Mott says every teacher, not just in the EBD unit, has asked for one.

“It’s really nice to see the change. I didn’t have this my prior years of teaching and it allows the students to focus a little bit more on what they’re doing,” said Jordan.

The desk cycles cost about $150 and are all paid for by grants and donations.

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