Jump rope fundraiser promotes active lifestyle

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

An Eastern New Mexico University freshman class teamed up this month with students from several local schools to raise almost $1,800 for the Jump Rope for Heart Foundation.

The Freshman Seminar class and local schools competed in raising money for the Jump Rope for Heart Foundation with Jump for Change. Lindsey Elementary School, Brown Early Childhood Center and Steiner and Valencia elementary schools participated.

The competition began March 5 and ended last Thursday. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade took part.

As a reward, the students receive a pizza party.

Freshmen Seminar and English instructor Robin Casady said this was a community service project.

“It is a two-part project with the class getting the grade-schoolers involved by contributing change,” Casady said. “The other part is giving the money to Jump Rope for Heart. Last year we gave food, so this is something different and getting the grade schools involved too.”

Lindsey’s sixth-graders raised $157, and Valencia had $727. Steiner brought in $50 in change, and the students from Brown raised $826.

Freshman Seminar student Zandi Queener said the grade-school students were excited about taking the challenge and helping with Jump for Change. Queener was the representative for Lindsey.

James Elementary School did not participate because the students had just finished another fundraiser and the faculty did not want to overwhelm them.

“We’re giving two pizza parties at Brown because there was only 60 cents difference between the two classes,” Casady said.

Freshman Allen Valdez, Valencia representative, said the students were really into raising the money and the idea of a pizza party.

“It was a fun thing to do, and I enjoyed working with the children,” Valdez said.

Jump Rope for Heart Foundation was started to fight childhood obesity by raising awareness, improving nutrition and increasing physical activity, according to the National Heart Foundation Web site.