Now you can ride bikes and more in the library

Kayleonah Trumble, writer

The desk bikes are helping students in the library.

“So, we got the new desk bikes, because we wrote a grant to the North Kansas City Educational Foundation. And we wanted to get some desk breaks, because there’s a lot of research out there that talks about the benefits of exercise during the day. And how it especially will help kids. Like remember things more if you exercise, if you’re active while you’re working while you’re reading. So we looked at some of those studies, and we thought it would be a cool thing to have at Oak Park,” said librarian Angela Van Batavia.

Students present the library bikes at the annual NKC Education Foundation breakfast. The Education Foundation funds the Kahler Grant that purchased the bikes for students.

Good ideas can come from anywhere even social media.

“Maybe it was my idea. But I think I think I got the idea because I saw it somewhere. I remember seeing them and I was thinking about how cool it would be to have them in the library,” said Van Batavia.

The new desk bikes help students both focus and exercise, but that’s not all that’s new in the library. Project Lit is a National Book Club, started in 2017 by a group of high school students in Tennessee

“They were a group of high schools, kids who, No. 1, were not happy that the things that they were reading in school didn’t look like them. They were a very diverse class and a very diverse school. And they were reading literature about people who weren’t very diverse,” Van Batavia said. “Also, they wanted to get rid of book deserts, book deserts are like areas where you go through and there’s no libraries, there’s no bookstores, you know, there’s no, no places where kids can get books to read.”

Four years later, there’s hundreds of Project Lit schools across the United States to increase diversity and literature.

“I think project lit is a better way for you to get too reading because then you can actually get better at reading and you are challenging yourself to read so you can make yourself a better reader,” said senior Ava Anderson.

Others agreed.

“I think it would be cool, because it can get kids more excited to read and it might help them get a lot smarter later on,” said freshman Kristen Hendricks.