Stillwater News Press

October 24, 2009

Jump start

Stillwater elementary students promote healthy hearts

Darla Slipke

Several hundred elementary school students armed with jump ropes took over the field at Pioneer Stadium.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students from every Stillwater public school participated in Jump Rope for Heart, an event to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association. Students collect donations for the association, then spend time jumping rope with their classmates.

The American Heart Association is a national health agency that tries to build healthier lives by reducing cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Alec Wilber, a fourth-grader at Richmond Elementary School, had fun jumping with friends Thursday.

“I just like to jump rope,” he said.

Niki Smith, a fourth-grader at Sangre Ridge, said she and her friends would never say quit.

“All of us are trying our best to get as much money as we can for people,” Smith said.

Her friend, Samantha Griff, agreed.

“It doesn’t matter about the prizes. It matters about the money,” Griff said.

Each school took over a section of the field, and there was room for everyone to jump.

Carolina El-Assi, a fourth-grader at Will Rogers, said jumping on the field at Pioneer Stadium with kids from other schools was much more fun than jumping in the school parking lot, which she did last year.

“I love it,” El-Assi said. “All the people jumping. It’s wonderful.”

Teachers and parents jumped or danced to music.

Some students got tired, but even those who took breaks from jumping were still being active in some way.

“Jumping rope makes our hearts healthy,” said Robin McMurry, a fourth-grader at Sangre Ridge.