By Tony Parra
James Elementary students said they were jumping for joy and for a good cause during the Jumpathon to raise money for tsunami victims in southeast Asia.
Students set up in teams of four and filled the James Elementary cafeteria on Wednesday afternoon to jump rope in support of tsunami victims. Students and teachers were able to raise approximately $500 for victims of the tsunami.
“Some kids (who survived the tsunamis) don’t have parents anymore,” Shi’Ann Nuckols, a third-grade student, said. “This is a way kids are helping other kids. It’s for a good cause.”
There were two different sessions with more than 120 students in each session in the Jumpathon. Second-graders also chipped in donations and helped by having a bake sale. They were able to raise $66.85.
“It killed more than 160,000 people,” Fabian Munoz, a third-grader, said. “That’s scary. (The fund-raising) helps (victims) because they don’t have a home or food.”
Mary Murray, a third-grade teacher at James, helped direct the Jumpathon. Murray said that she and Debbie Gentry, another third-grade teacher, talked about the idea a week ago, when students came back from the holiday break.
“The kids are concerned and want to help the other kids,” Murray said. “They see it (tragedy) on the television over and over. They were excited to do something to help out other kids.”
Murray said many of the students saw some of the scenes of the disaster on the television. She said James Elementary teachers also incorporated the tragedy into their lessons.
“We let them talk about the disaster so it was easier for them to handle it,” Gentry said. “We’re pretty fortunate in the United States to have insurance and (the ability to) recover from a disaster. Other countries are not so fortunate.”
Flyers were sent out to parents and third grade students were asked to bring a $1 or more for the event.
“They don’t have any money or food,” Alonso Carrillo, a third-grader, said. “They don’t have a place to live. That would be sad if it happened to me.”