Since its inception in 2011, thanks largely to generous foundation grant funding, the 501c3 nonprofit Walking Classroom Institute has provided class sets of its national award-winning program, free of charge, to over 800 teachers nationwide, impacting about 25,000 students — that’s nearly $1.4 million in donated materials.
Additionally, in November 2015, The Walking Classroom was awarded a $451,000 two-year grant by The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The grant will make The Walking Classroom program available to 350 teachers and thousands of elementary school children in six rural North Carolina counties. Over the next several years, this project will improve the lives of over 15,000 fourth and fifth grade students, all of whom will listen to the educational and entertaining podcasts while they walk several times a week throughout the school year.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of our supporting foundations and donors, and we’re thrilled with the success of the program,” said Laura Fenn, Executive Director and Creator of The Walking Classroom.
The program has been extremely well received, with 90% of students surveyed during the 2014-2015 school year saying that The Walking Classroom helps them understand the curriculum content and 82% saying the program helped them learn more about healthy habits.
Teachers appreciate the innovative instructional tool and use The Walking Classroom to complement their instruction. Of teachers surveyed, 95% said the program strengthens student understanding of curriculum content and engages students with different learning styles, and 93% said The Walking Classroom has had a significant impact on their own teaching efficiency and effectiveness.