During the month of February, children across the country were busy cutting-out, decorating, and giving away hearts for Valentine’s Day.
This February, the kindergarten through fifth-grade students at White Oak Elementary School were not only busy with the normal heart extravaganza, but this year they were also busy with a different kind of heart activity — jumping rope.
Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH) is a national fundraising program that promotes physical activity, heart healthy living, and community service to children.
The elementary school years encompass a time when children should establish a strong foundation for movement skills. These are also the years when positive learning experience can help establish a positive attitude and appreciation for participating in regular, daily physical activity for life.
Mr. Justin Zink, physical education teacher at White Oak Elementary School, organized the Jump Rope for Heart event held on Feb. 8, 2013.
The first step in hosting a Jump Rope for Heart event is fundraising. Donation sheets were sent home with students in January and they were encouraged to raise as much money as they could to donate to the JRFH organization.
Jump Rope for Heart has a mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
After all of the students raised as much money as they could for donation, the fun began.
At 8:30 a.m. Feb. 8, 2013, the students started jumping. Both the main gym and the small gym at White Oak were populated with jumping kids until 11 a.m.
Mr. Zink’s Jump Rope for Heart was no ordinary fundraising event. Kidz Bop music was streaming through both gyms, students were belting out their favorite tunes as they helped to promote heart healthy living.
Teachers, administrative staff and students alike were busy laughing, talking, and jumping. A life-size heart even visited the students in the gym, encouraging them to keep being heart healthy and active.
Three waves of students passed through the gyms at White Oak Elementary. They were separated by grade, but united to raise a grand total of $5,453.
This money was donated directly to JRFH. It will be used to research cardiovascular disease, educate the public about heart health and help children and adults who have “special” hearts.
If you would like to learn more about the Jump Rope for Heart organization or donate to their cause, please visit www.aahperd.org.