GLADSTONE - Students at Cameron and Jones Elementary Schools are jumping at the chance to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation's Nos. 1 and 3 killers. Earlier in March both schools hosted the annual Jump Rope For Heart event to raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs for youth.
Jump Rope for Heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and shows them that volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community.
The need to educate children about the importance of physical activity couldn't be timelier. According to recent studies, about 1/3 of children ages 2 to 19 are overweight and obese.
Members of the “Fuel Up to Play 60 Club” at Jones Elementary prepare to Jump Rope for Heart at the Jones Elementary School. They are: from left front, Abigail Stephenson, Jaycie Drossard, and Kendall Pahl; in back are Aaron Stenhoff, Lucas Hughes, Ashlyn Pahl, Megan Crow, Torie Zeise, and Chloe Charlebois. The group also takes part in half-time activities during basketball games.
Jones fourth-grader Samantha Strasler shows off the “Jump Rope for Heart” t-shirt she received for participating in the recent Jump Rope for Heart event at the Jones School in Gladstone.
Maci Chouinard, a fourth-grader at the Jones School, earned a Detroit Lions football autographed by former Detroit Lion wide receiver, Nate Burleson, for her jump roping efforts.
The "Fuel Up to Play 60 Club" at Jones Elementary, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program, designed a jump rope routine with a message about heart health and performed it at half time of a Gladstone High School basketball game. Students were very enthusiastic about sharing the message of physical activity and healthy hearts with their community.
During the event, students at Cameron participated in different Jump Roping Stations with an emphasis on physical activity. Students learned the importance of heart rate and its effect on physical fitness. At Jones, students participated in the Jump Rope Olympics while learning about how the heart functions and ways to keep it healthy.
Top fund-raiser at Jones was fourth-grader Jadyn Bovin, who raised $175. At Cameron it was second-grader, Dylan Brunette, who $200. Jadyn & Dylan both get to be PE Teachers for the day as a reward for their hard work. All students received prizes for participating in the Jump Rope for Heart Program.
Yooper Shirts, Stormy Kromer, The United Dairy Industry of Michigan & Northern Lights Recreation were just a few of the generous area businesses that donated student prizes.
More than $7,000 was raised for the American Heart Association between the two elementary schools.
For over 32 years, Jump Rope for Heart has raised more than $810 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke. Millions of students have jumped rope or shot hoops and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke.
Jump Rope for Heart is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
For information, call (800) 242-8721 or visit americanheart.org/jump or americanheart.org/hoops.