Paul Zientarski is one of the founders of the Learning Readiness Program at Naperville School District #203.  Learning Readiness Physical Education was designed based on research indicating that students who are physically active and fit are more academically alert and experience growth in brain cells or enhancement in brain development; NCHS pairs a PE class that incorporates cardiovascular exercise, core strength training, cross lateral movements and literacy and math strategies with literacy and math classes that utilizes movement to enhance learning and improve achievement.

LRPE students step beyond the traditional classroom/PE space constraints in order to be challenged intellectually and keep in physical motion with tools such as the exercise balls, podiums with Bosu balls at the base, balancing boards, Smartboard, etc.  LRPE students tend to lead learning conversations that prove rich in focus and production – ultimately, greater retention occurs because of their quality, student-led, physically engaged, learning conversations regarding vocabulary, story elements, and mathematics.  LRPE students have experienced notable gains in their reading ability and comprehension as well as improvement in math and other courses.  Starting their day with physical workouts seems to be “waking up” their brains.  The study incorporated in this project is providing the justification for expanding the program so many more students can experience the improvements and achievements of the original group.

In this video Paul discusses a little more about the Learning Readiness Program, and why kids do better in school after exercising.