Kids are encouraged to clown around in this unique school club

Posted at 9:59 AM, Feb 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-01 12:04:25-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — How do you make learning fun for elementary school kids? Teacher Philip Brooks will tell you, where there's a wheel, there's a way.

Brooks started a unicycle and juggling club a couple of years ago at Hopkins Road Elementary in Chesterfield County.

You might be surprised to hear some of these kids had never ridden a bicycle before.

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“But it doesn't matter," said Brooks. “Because it doesn't translate at all. A bicycle is all about left and right, where a unicycle is 360-degree balance."

Balance is what it's all about: balancing learning with fun.

“It helps build their confidence. It helps make them excited about school. It helps get some energy out, obviously. A lot of them come off with a feeling that they've accomplished something."

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A study published in the Journal Nature finds learning to juggle increases concentration and helps the areas of the brain involved in visual and motor activity.

“As they work and work and work to meet these goals, they get better and better. They get that feedback. Hopefully, they can see that translates to other parts of their life," explained Brooks.

Building balance... is Building Better Minds.

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