On February 14, 2013 many of the students at Southwest Star Concept Elementary School in Heron Lake were dressed in red, not only because it was Valentine ’s Day, but also to commemorate Jump Rope for Heart. Southwest Star Concept Elementary School hosted Jump Rope for Heart activities in cooperation with the American Heart Association. This was the 15th year the school has participated, and the elementary students raised $2348 to support the American Heart Association’s work to fight heart disease. In addition to their fundraising, the students participated in jump rope activities. Kindergarten through fourth grader students got their hearts racing at jump rope stations and in contests, where one student jumped rope nearly 300 times without stopping. The fifth and sixth grade students worked together in groups for a couple weeks developing jump rope routines. On Valentine’s Day, those students presented the routines to the student body and community members who came to watch. Posters that the students made were hung throughout the school to express the importance of heart health and exercise.
The event is a good reminder for children to stay active, keep their hearts pumping vigorously and to have fun with exercise. Donna Cook, Physical Education Teacher at Heron Lake-Okabena Elementary hosted the event and was proud of the children and their jump rope routines and fundraising efforts. Cook is leading the efforts at the HLO Elementary to increase physical activity among all children and to develop a comprehensive physical activity program within the district.