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The Walking Classroom



The Walking Classroom News and Press Coverage

Click OrlandoExploris Students Learn on the Move with The Walking Classroom


By Sarah Barr

RALEIGH (News & Observer) — A group of students at the Exploris School are learning on the move.

As part of a program called The Walking Classroom, fourth- and fifth-graders plug into educational podcasts, then head out for a walk in the community near their downtown Raleigh charter school. Fifth-graders recently trekked with their teacher Leah Ruto during on a lesson on the water cycle and ocean tides.

“They’re out, they’re getting fresh air, they’re getting exercise, but they’re also learning something,” said Ruto.

› Read the article

Click OrlandoWhat's Right With Our Schools: Walking Classroom


MAITLAND, FLA (WKMG Local 6) — Susan Maddox, a fifth grade teacher at Lake Sybelia Elementary School in Maitland, Florida has introduced the "walking classroom" to her students, and they love it.

"Many times the first question I get in the morning is, 'are we walking today?' It's designed to get kids up and moving and increase their physical activity, which research has shown increases achievement, increases blood flow to the brain, and works on the part of the brain for learning and memory," says Maddox.

› Watch the video

Fox 8 Orlando'Walking Classroom' Promotes Fitness While Learning


MAITLAND, FLA (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) — Lake Sybelia Elementary School in Maitland has introduced the "walking classroom," through which students can get their lessons in a new, refreshing way.

Students love the new program, which allows them to take a short outdoor walk several days a week during their class time. They are given headsets and podcasts to listen to, allowing them to hear lessons while they stroll.

› Read the full article

Winterpark Maitland Observer"Walking Classrooms" Get Students Learning on the Move


By Sarah Wilson

WINTERPARK/MAITLAND, FLA — A single-file line of fifth-graders at Lake Sybelia Elementary walk the sidewalk outside their stucco-walled school with earbuds stuck in one ear, their fingers fiddling with a palm-sized media player in their small hands.

They're not texting or listening to music. This is how Susan Maddox's fifth grade class studies.

› Read the full article

Chapel Hill MagazineThe Walking Classroom's Laura Fenn is Chapel Hill Magazine's Featured Educator


By Amanda MacLaren

CHAPEL HILL, NC — Chapel Hill Magazine inteviews Laura Fenn, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Walking Classroom, in its November Women's Issue.

"Teachers love it because it helps them cover the curriculum and address the different learning styles of their students," Laura says, "and kids love it because they're getting outside during the school day."

› Read the full article

ABC 7 Eyewitness News Los Angeles, CAThe Walking Classroom Gets Kids Learning While Exercising


By Lori Corbin

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Fifth graders at St. Timothy School in Los Angeles are gearing up for a lecture. But the way they're learning is progressive. "We listen to a podcast and we learn while we're walking so we can stay fit and learn at the same time," said student Jordan Allen.

"Walk, listen, learn" is the motto for the three-day-a-week, one-mile walk, where they'll listen to one of 97 topics ranging from art to taxes.

› Read the full article and watch the video at

City WalkFresh Air, Exercise and a Dose of Learning


By Ann Schimke

AURORA, CO — There wasn't a whisper of conversation among Kari Burkett's fifth-graders as they walked a mile around the grounds of Aurora's Kenton Elementary School on a recent sunny morning. Just the sound of footfalls and the caw of birds flying overhead. It's part of The Walking Classroom, a four-year-old program based in Chapel Hill, NC, that allows students to get exercise while they listen to standards-aligned podcasts on language arts, history and science.

"I have a variety of learners, a variety of different language-learners…it's an opportunity to do something different instead of just listening to me," Burkett said. "[They're] able to connect a little bit more to what we're learning in class."

› Read the full article at Chalkbeat Colorado

City WalkNew Warner Program Involves Learning, Walking


ABERDEEN, SD — Those driving through Warner on school days might see an unusual sight — fourth graders walking around the track behind the town's school. And it's not gym class or track practice. Instead, it's part of a new program, The Walking Classroom, according to a news release from the school district.

"We really enjoy the lessons," fourth-grade teacher Cheryl Ochsner said. "The students comment on some of the interesting facts that they remember after our walk. I really like listening to them describe facts from their favorite lesson. I have also learned many interesting facts as I listen to the podcasts, too." 

› Read the full article at Aberdeen News

City WalkThe Walking Classroom Kicks Off the Season Premiere of City Walk


"This program seamlessly integrates with the classroom environment and it's a meaningful way to imbed technology in the core curriculum." John Rome, Elementary Principal, Vintage Math Science Technology Magnet School.

› Watch the full episode
› Learn about City Walk

Mt Airy NewsFitness supports classwork at Franklin Elementary


By David Broyles

Franklin Elementary School is taking the phrase "thinking on your feet" literally with a "Walking Classroom" program for fifth-grade students. According to teachers Amy Clement and Catherine Dollyhite, Media Coordinator Tonya Fletcher's successful grant application secured $3,000 for The Walking Classroom project.

› Read the full article at

Southern NeighborThe Walking Classroom Combines Education with Activity


By Melanie Raskin

For 34 Triangle elementary schools and more than 700 area schoolchildren (including 14 classrooms in Chapel Hill), “back to school” means more than learning the basic core curriculum. Students are also discovering that they can absorb, think, process, retain, behave and feel better, simply by taking education outside.

› Read the full article at

MarketplaceWho Created that App? A Teacher


By Adriene Hill

Laura Fenn was teaching fifth grade in North Carolina when her school cut back on physical education and recess. "They actually started to count time walking from the classroom to the cafeteria as physical activity time," Fenn says.

› Read the full article at

WRAL walking Classroom video"Walking Classrooms" Help Students Engage Physically, Mentally


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Whether they are listening to a lesson or taking a test, kids spend the majority of their time in school sitting down. 

Health advocates want children to get more exercise, and technology is helping students at a school near Chapel Hill learn while also staying active. 

› Read the full article at

The Daily DispatchThe Walking Classroom Featured in The Daily Dispatch in Henderson, NC: "A way to walk and learn"


By Sarah Mansur

As a fifth-grade teacher in Chapel Hill, Laura Fenn observed her students simply did not have enough time outdoors.

“The students were inside way too much and time for P.E. and recess was being cut,” Fenn said. “It’s not normal for 10 to 12 year olds to sit behind a desk for six or seven hours without going outside and getting fresh air.”

She was looking for way to get kids out of the classroom while not sacrificing instructional time. ...

› Read the full article from The Daily Dispatch...

Kentucky TeacherThe Walking Classroom featured in the February 4, 2014 issue of Kentucky Teacher


Jessica Goldy Elliott, a 5th-grade teacher at Owingsville Elementary School (Bath County, KY), recently faced what seemed like a sure disaster: She was leading one of her classes on a walk down Main Street and a man chased his loose dog for 10 minutes.

“And I was thinking, in another circumstance these kids would be going wild, laughing and trying to get the dog to come to them,” she said. “But they were like little Army ants. 

› Read more at Kentucky Teacher...

NC Health NewsThe Walking Classroom featured in February 4, 2014 "Knowledge To Go" column from North Carolina Health News


Walk. Listen. Learn.

That’s the mantra of an innovative educational program that strives to improve educational and health outcomes simultaneously among fourth- and fifth-graders across the country.

Fifth-grade teacher Laura Fenn from Chapel Hill developed the idea for The Walking Classroom Institute after observing her students were more engaged and attentive after physical activity. She created podcasts for her students to listen to while walking as a way to engage them in physical activity without sacrificing time in the classroom.

› Read more at NC Health News...

WRAL-TV'S Good Things Features The Walking Classroom


The Walking Classroom is a teacher-initiated, in-school fitness and obesity intervention that improves health literacy and builds core content knowledge while addressing different learning styles.

› Watch at WRAL...

Chapel Hill Magazine and WeeklyThe Walking Classroom featured in the October 3, 2013 issue of The Chapel Hill Weekly


By Amanda MacLaren

The Walking Classroom has made a difference in how some Chapel Hill and Carrboro schools are approaching learning.

Laura Fenn, co-founder and executive director of The Walking Classroom, began the Chapel Hill-based nonprofit program four years ago when she had the idea to combine exercise and instruction in her own fifth-grade classroom at Scroggs Elementary.

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The Norman TranscriptThe Walking Classroom featured in the October 11, 2013 issue of The Norman Transcript


NORMAN — The Walking Classroom Institute announced on Thursday that it donated program materials worth $75,000 to 25 public elementary school classrooms in 17 states.

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Endurance MagazineThe Walking Classroom Featured in October 2013 Issue of Endurance Magazine


By Jennifer Kirby

Before moving to Chapel Hill, Laura Fenn taught for years in East Harlem and New Jersey, and for all the differences among the settings, certain similarities were undeniable.

“Regardless of what the environment was, whether it was a high-income or low-income area, what was happening in the schools was the same,” she says. ...

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McDowell NewsNebo educator receives grants to promote health and learning


Fifth-grade teacher Donna Pyatt has had a real lucky streak this school year. The seasoned Nebo Elementary teacher recently received three grants for different projects in her classroom, one of which is already helping her students build up their brains and muscles.

“Last year I found out about The Walking Classroom and applied for a grant to receive a classroom set of devices for my kids through their website,” said Pyatt. “I received 27 devices this school year with ear buds, batteries and lanyards. I was a little hesitant on whether or not the kids would like learning and exercising at the same time, but they really seem to love it.”

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eSchool Media Readers' Choice AwardThe Walking Classroom Wins eSchool Media's Readers'
Choice Award


In Spring of 2013, School News (eSN) launched their “Readers’ Choice Awards” that highlight the top 40 ed-tech products each year, as nominated by readers. In nominating their favorite products, eSN asked readers to tell them how they're using these products to improve teaching, learning, or school administration—and to what effect. The result is a list of ed-tech products and services that have proven to be effective.

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HIC winnerThe Walking Classroom Is One of Three Local Winners in the Health Innovation Challenge Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina


The Walking Classroom won one of three $20,000 grand prizes in a competition designed to challenge entrepreneurs across North Carolina to develop, implement, and scale high-impact ideas designed to support healthy lifestyles, with a specific focus on reducing obesity. In addition, all three winners received mentoring or support from Bull City Forward and Queen City Forward. 

The Challenge attracted ideas from more than 60 North Carolina-based operations and individuals.

› Read more about the Challenge
› Read more about TWC and the Challenge in the Herald Sun
› Read more in the Triangle Business Journal

The Walking Classroom Wins Technology Innovation Grand Prize in The Active Schools Acceleration Project / Child Obesity180 national competition

(5/22/2012) Active Schools Acceleration Project, a ChildObesity180 initiative

The Walking Classroom won one of two $50,000 grand prizes in a competition that was designed to identify and reward the most creative, impactful, and scalable school-based programs and technologies to promote children’s physical activity.

The Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), a ChildObesity180 initiative, launched the competition in February 2012 in a commitment with the Partnership for a Healthier America. First Lady Michelle Obama encouraged participation in the competition with a call for applications via a video message (above).

Teachers, schools, and school districts submitted their school-based physical activity programs to the “School Programs” category, while the “Technology Innovation” category invited developers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to demonstrate how existing or emerging technologies could be used to inspire kids to be physically active.

› Read the full story.... 

yahoo financeAddressing Obesity Epidemic Requires Smart Policy and Innovative Solutions (link opens new browser window)

(6/24/2012) News & Observer (

› Read the story... (link opens new browser window)

yahoo financeCigna, in Partnership with ChildObesity180, Names National Award Winners in Children's Physical Activity Contest

(6/13/2012) Yahoo Finance

› Read the story... (link opens new browser window)

News 14 videoThe Walking Classroom Combines Exercise, Technology at Alamance school

(6/5/2012) News Channel 14

› Read the story... (link opens new browser window)

WUNC 91.5

Praise For "The Walking Classroom"

(6/4/2012) WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio

› Listen to the interview by Leoneda Inge... (link opens new browser window)

CNN HealthSchools Given $25K to Help Kids Move (link opens new browser window)

(5/22/2012) CNN Health (

› Read the story...(link opens new browser window)


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