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Sandy Journal

Sandy Schools Jump for Heart, Health

Jul 01, 2016 09:40AM ● By Julie Slama

Sunrise Elementary fifth-grader Marianne Liu participates in the school’s jump Olympics as part of the American Heart Association’s Jump for Heart. — Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Sandy’s top fundraising public school was back skipping rope on May 9 and May 11 to help the American Heart Association raise money to help people with heart disease and strokes.

Brookwood students jumped rope forward, backward and even performed a few tricks as they raised $5,400, making their 18-year total surpass $59,000, as far back as records show in the event’s 38-year history, Cassidie Fenton, American Heart Association youth market director, said.

“Brookwood has this amazing teacher, Joan Kidd, who gets her class involved in a jump team and they do tricks and have a tradition of getting everyone involved and having fun,” Fenton said.

However, Brookwood wasn’t the only Sandy school to be involved in Jump for Heart. Sunrise, Bell View and Edgemont also took up the ropes to get active and raise money for heart awareness.

“Bell View is back after a couple years break and the playworks [structured recess] coach provided student council advisers with ideas for different jumping stations so students could try them all,” Fenton said about their March 23 event.

Fenton said she provides ideas for each school and allows them to tailor them.

“We want to make it fun and engaging for the kids and not take up classroom time if the school doesn’t want to, so they can do it during their lunch, physical education or playworks times,” she said. “The event is designed to educate students about eating healthy and exercising so they’re active and at the same time, raise awareness about heart diseases and stroke.”

Sunrise Elementary returned to Jump for Heart after a long absence, prompted by a message sent from Canyons School District superintendent.

“The Superintendent [Jim Briscoe] sent a memo out last summer saying this was a great cause and schools were encouraged to support it, so with our first year having a playworks coach [Tracy Jezewski], I gave her the opportunity to organize it,” Principal Margaret Swanike said.

The school invited Harvest Elementary’s jump team from Saratoga Springs for a Feb. 17 kickoff assembly and also had volunteers help teach jump-roping skills to all the students during playworks times and recess. Then, in late February and early March, students competed in the Jump Rope Olympics, which included counting the most forward, backward and criss-cross jumps.

The school raised almost $3,000, Swanike said.

“We’d like to make this a neat tradition at Sunrise and continue to add more layers to it. The kids had fun and more kids are jumping rope on the playground now,” she said.

Edgemont Principal Cathy Schino said her school Jump for Heart event in early March was organized by her student council who involved her playworks student leaders, or junior coaches.

“We thought we’d let them organize it and thought it would be a good leadership activity for them and fun for all the students,” she said. “We were hoping to raise $1,000.”

Instead, Fenton said they raised more than $3,600.

Katie Nelson, student council adviser and fifth-grade teacher, said they had students give daily announcements, reminding classmates of the incentives if they brought in donations, and enticed them to participate.

“It was the student council’s idea to involve the junior coaches and have them teach skills and help with all the events,” she said. “It was really cool to see 10- and 11-year-olds coming up with ideas and running the show.”

The student leaders organized students and had them participate in their six activities — a station where they played “Jump,” similar to basketball’s “Horse” where students would replicate a particular jumping trick; “Rainbow Jump,” where a student leader would call out a certain color and students wearing that color would jump into the long rope; “Animal Jump,” where students tried to jump the same length as selected animals can jump; “Run and Jump,” where they skipped rope and ran; “Jump Rope Relay/Obstacle,” where they would jump in and out of a long rope and tag teammates for their turn; and “Bunch Jump” to see how many students could jump at one time.

“It was especially fun to see how contagious it was, how these kids kept jumping after the event was over, just for the joy of it,” Nelson said.   λ