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Pflugerville librarian wins state innovation award with special reading desks

Librarian Jennifer Coleman was able to help her students succeed in learning with the bike-desk hybrids.

AUSTIN, Texas — A librarian at Murchison Elementary School used a $5,000 grant to purchase five special reading desks that were attached to bicycle pedals.

Librarian Jennifer Coleman said that there was an immediate impact at Murchison elementary when the bike-desks were introduced.

"The kids could not believe it. When they came, oh my gosh, there were lines for days," Coleman said. "That's when kids started working in their classrooms to earn extra passes so they could come and do their math homework on it."

Coleman was able to collect data about who was using the bikes since the students were required to sign in to the machine on an iPad, and she noticed one student in particular.

Credit: Pflugerville ISD


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Cooper Lebakken was a fourth-grader with dyslexia when the bikes first came to the school. With the help of the bikes, he was able to reach his Accelerated Reader goal for two years in a row, which he had never done before.

Lebakken thinks that the bikes are a better way to learn.

"It's like my stress reliever. Books and biking are like one of the best stress relievers," said Lebakken. "The book takes your mind away from the things happening around you and then all the anger gets put into pedaling."


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Coleman said that knowing that her idea helped even just one student is enough to make her want to make a bigger impact.

"It just takes one person having an idea and seeing that it's good and then sharing it out. That's all it takes," said Coleman. "That's why I get up every day and do what I do. Who knows if there's another Cooper out there?"

In April, Coleman received the Demco Upstart Library Innovation Award at the Texas Library Association's annual conference.

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