Hamilton schools jump rope, shoot hoops for AHA

Raising money by jumping rope or shooting hoops has been a tradition for many students in the Hamilton School District. This year is no different.

Templeton Middle School students just completed Jump Rope for Heart and Heart for Hoops to benefit the American Heart Association. The event started as a “Red Out” spirit day, and the students and staff were encouraged to wear red clothing to show awareness of heart disease and stroke. The event concluded with a basketball tournament after school and students were allowed to form their own teams and compete for fun against other teams. Staff participated by placing money in a basket and filling out hearts with names of people affected by heart disease or stroke. The school raised $2,338 this year. Fitness education teacher Lisa Strauss who coordinated the events at her school estimates that Templeton has raised close to $10,000 in the nine years it has participated in the events.

Lannon and Marcy elementary schools will participate in the student fundraiser that teaches participants about the importance of regular physical activity, proper nutrition and living tobacco-free.

In the eight years that Lannon fitness education teacher Daniel Howard has coordinated the event, the school has raised about $14,000. Howard plans to hold the school’s Jump Rope for Heart event after Spring Break this year. Students ask family, friends and neighbors to sponsor them for every minute their six-member team jumps. Parent volunteers will be on hand to turn ropes and record pledges.

Marcy has the longest tradition of supporting the American Heart Association’s jumping fundraiser. The school has been involved in Jump Rope for Heart for 27 consecutive years, raising an estimated $240,000 to help fund cardiovascular research and educational programs. The American Heart Association honored long-time fitness education teacher Andy Matthiesen previously for providing outstanding volunteer service. Marcy students learn basic jump rope tricks in their physical education classes and then think of original tricks for the event. Some of the concepts Matthiesen teaches in the jump roping unit are community service, value of fitness and teamwork. Matthiesen credits the help and support from Marcy parents for the school’s success.