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Ely Students Jump Into Heart Health

By Staff | Feb 26, 2016

Students learned the importance of "jumping", with a number of different styles of jump roping and drills to keep their hearts healthy.

Students at Ely Elementary School in Rugby raised thousands of dollars earlier this month while learning about physical activity.

On Feb. 16 and 17, the school hosted a “Jump Rope for Heart” event to raise money for the American Heart Association. The students raised over $17,000, four times more than their original goal of $4,000.

Heidi Backstrom, physical education instructor at Ely, said the students “shattered” their $4,000 goal in the first week of fundraising. If the students went past their fundraising goal, Backstrom said the students got to vote on what to do to their principal, Jason Gullickson, which was kept a surprise until the event.

“He (Gullickson) was very willing to have a pie thrown in his face or be duct taped to the wall,” Backstrom said in an email to the Tribune. “They (the students) were really excited to find out we were going to duct tape him to the wall. The top class and top student fundraisers started the process of taping Mr. Gullickson to the wall, and some of the faculty finished.”

Students received congratulations from Mary Reiser, of the American Heart Association, over Skype for unofficially being the top fundraising school in the state.

“There are still schools in North Dakota raising money, but we are 99 percent sure that we raised the most money,” Backstrom said.

Khloe Sobolik’s second grade class raised the most money as a group, with $1,831. Jennifer Gault’s third graders weren’t far behind with $1,743.50. Other high-earning classes were Shauna Wurgler’s first graders with $1,391 and Krystin Thiel’s first graders with $1,352.

Fourth grader Christina Evenson raised the most money as an individual, with $550. Other top-earning students included Addie Boppre, second grade, $521; Bailey Zachmeier, third grade, $500; Levi Saxton, fifth grade, $486 and Tailyr Bush, second grade, $476.

During the event, students learned many types of jumps, including, the “egg beater”, “Skip-it”, hurdles, and “double Dutch”, and had the opportunity to create their own jump rope routines.

Students also created hearts during the event in honor of a heart disease survivor, or in memory of a victim.

“This was a great learning experience for the students,” Backstrom said. “They had the chance to learn how important our hearts are and how to take care of them.”

“Jump Rope for Heart” events started 36 years ago, and ever since have been co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and by the Society of Health and Physical Educators.


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