A look back: Blades Elementary teacher’s idea to add pedal exercisers to library receives grant

Students+from+Mrs.+Rygelski%E2%80%99s+third-grade+class+at+Blades+Elementary+School+pose+with+Library+Media+Specialist+Jill+Hudson+after+she+was+presented+in+May+2019+with+a+check+for+%24300+to+fund+her+idea+to+bring+pedal+exercisers+to+the+school+library.+Pictured+from+left+to+right+are+Ella+Weber%2C+Ashlyn+Petlansky%2C+Jill+Hudson%2C+Kaimen+Matthis+%28back+right%29+and+Wesley+Givens+%28front+right%29.

Students from Mrs. Rygelski’s third-grade class at Blades Elementary School pose with Library Media Specialist Jill Hudson after she was presented in May 2019 with a check for $300 to fund her idea to bring pedal exercisers to the school library. Pictured from left to right are Ella Weber, Ashlyn Petlansky, Jill Hudson, Kaimen Matthis (back right) and Wesley Givens (front right).

Editor’s note: During the pandemic, we are looking back at several inspiring stories from local South County schools. This grant was given in May 2019. 

Jill Hudson, a library media specialist at Blades Elementary School in Oakville, received a $300 grant in May 2019 from local online university WGU Missouri to fund her idea to bring pedal exercisers to the school’s library media center. Hudson was officially presented with a check for $300 on Friday, May 17, 2019, to help purchase the pedal exercisers, which will allow students to work out their minds and bodies all at the same time. Hudson’s goal is to spark an enthusiasm for reading, while also promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for students.

Blades is one of 15 schools across Missouri that was chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding for an innovative classroom project, for a total of $10,000 in grants given. The university issued a call for K-12 teachers across the state in April 2019 to nominate proposed classroom projects for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding. Hudson’s proposal was chosen out of 200 nominations received statewide.

Students from Mrs. Rygelski’s third grade class at Blades Elementary School pose with Library Media Specialist Jill Hudson after she was presented with a check in May 2019 for $300 to fund her idea to bring pedal exercisers to the school library. Pictured from left to right are Ashlyn Petlansky, Jill Hudson, Kaimen Matthis (back right), Ella Weber and Wesley Givens (front right).
Third-grade student Colin Fregin is pictured using a pedal exerciser while reading a book at Blades Elementary School library.