Students raised $1,772.
Students get sponsorships from family and friends. The money
raised goes to the American Heart Assn. Students win prizes like CD
players and jump ropes, and the school each year earns sports
equipment like balls and ball pumps for its physical education
"It's fun jumping and doing sports and stuff, and you live longer
if you do," said Pauline, a second-grader at Jefferson. "I watch
television, too, but I like to exercise."
A main focus of the event is to educate students about healthy
eating and exercise so they can go home and teach their parents what
they learned, said Wendy Zito, the youth market director for the
American Heart Assn.
Increased obesity among children in California and nationwide has
lead to increases in heart problems and diabetes among children, Zito
"We want them to know how important it is to take care of
themselves now, so they stay healthy as they get older," Zito said.
"If we teach them properly, they hopefully will go home and it will
reach their parents, also. There is not enough [physical education]
in our schools, and the [state] budget is not helping."
Upper-grade students at Jefferson get about an hour of physical
education twice each week, and lower-grade classroom teachers are
expected to give students 75 to 100 minutes of physical activity each
week, said JoAnne Bell, the school's administrative secretary.
Jumpers were given water and low-fat cookies, school nurse Linda
Jones said. Jones spoke to students about the dangers of heart
disease and smoking.
"I think we've kind of lost touch with what we're supposed to be
doing," Jones said. "Kids love doing this stuff, but you have to