HAMPSTEAD – Jump Rope for Heart is all about heart health – heart healthy exercise, healthy lifestyle and concern for others. And Hampstead Central School physical education teachers Sandy Kwiecien and Angie Ingraham had their third and fourth grade students perform a variety of jump rope exercises to benefit the 35th annual Jump Rope for Heart event sponsored by the Heart American Heart Association last week.
Kwiecien and Ingraham try to make this activity meaningful to the children and emphasize that exercise is good for the heart, whether a person is 6 or 60. They involve the students’ parents, asking them to talk to their children about who they will honor by jumping rope or in whose memory they would be jumping. And they encourage parents to talk with their children about the risks of smoking and about ways to live a healthier life.
The children bring in a donation they have collected from family and friends to give to the American Heart Association, and every child receives a new jump rope.
Those children who jumped to honor someone trying to quit smoking or in memory of someone who lost their battle with heart disease had the name added to their class heart poster.
This year the students were all jumping for Luanne Brady, whose grandchild was born with half a heart.
The third and fourth grade jump rope participants raised $3,488, which will be contributed to the American Heart Association.
Participation in this event provides the physical education department an opportunity to emphasize the elements of healthy living, such as the importance of exercise, diet and sleep. It also gives the physical education teachers a chance to talk with students about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and to point out the risks of such choices as smoking or poor eating habits.
The students kept track of the number of jumps they made and recorded them on the Duck Pond poster.
Jump Rope for Heart is sponsored by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the American Heart Association.