Things are quacktastic at Viewmont and Horizon elementary schools these days.
The two schools plan to participate in the 36th anniversary of Jump Rope for Heart to earn money for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. With contributions donated, the students’ names were entered into a drawing for a rubber duck.
“We told students last year that the ducks are lifesavers and represent one person that they have helped save that either has a heart disease or stroke,” American Heart Association Youth Market Director Cassidie Fenton said “This year, we are also teaching them each duck represents one way they can help take care of their own heart.”
This year’s ducks, from glow-in-the-dark to a detective or spy duck, remind them to eat all colors of their fruits and vegetables, to stay away from smoking, to drink more water, to get plenty of sleep, to eat less salt and to exercise.
Horizon Elementary’s jump rope team, consisting of students in third through sixth grade, demonstrated their talent at assemblies for students at both schools in late January.
The jump-ropers practice twice each week to prepare for jumping during the week of Feb. 2 and also to try to beat school records — longest jumper, fastest jumper, most crisscrosses in a row and most double-unders in a row — all of which are held by Lizzy Braby, who now is a junior in high school.
However, Horizon students also plan to raise $10,000 for the cause, surpassing last year’s contributions of $9,800, said Horizon PE specialist Shanna Nava, who has been coordinating the event for 19 years at the school, helping to raise $86,000.
“I love teaching the kids how to jump rope,” Nava said. “Starting in kindergarten and watching them get excited when they can do it for the first time. This is my ultimate goal — to have the children learn a lifetime skill and enjoy it. We raise money for those children who do not have the opportunity to jump rope because they are suffering from heart problems. I hope raising money will help the children gain a sense of community and service.”
Viewmont students plan to jump on Feb. 25 to reach their goal of $2,500. Last year, in the school’s third year of participating, they donated more than $2,100.
Principal Margaret Young said students will rotate through different stations so they can hula hoop, run or walk, in addition to jump with long and short jump ropes.