St Joseph’s Catholic Primary Como-Oyster Bay Year 4 students skipped to raise a healthy $10,000 for the Heart Foundation.
Year 4 teacher Monica Hallinan said it was the fourth consecutive year the school had taken part in the Jump Rope 4 Heart initiative, joining 1,300 schools from across Australia.
The program is designed to foster a positive attitude to exercise and heart health. St Joseph’s students skipped for two hours on August 3 at a ‘Jump Off’ day to show their newfound skipping skills and celebrate the fundraising efforts of 48 classmates who collected a total of $9,926 for the Heart Foundation.
Year 4 students Lexi Bowron and Anya McLelland were the highest individual fundraisers, adding more than $1,200 each to the pool of funds for the organisation.
“It was really fun,” said Lexi, 10. “It’s good for exercise and it helps people with heart disease. I went around Jannali and asked people to donate with my mum.
We have a very generous community.
Mrs Hallinan said the Jump Rope program was able to be included in the students’ Personal Development, Health and Physical Education units as an example of how to keep the body fit and boost immunity.
“I like to do this in winter when we talk about ways of avoiding spreading germs, so you’re looking at the health side of things and keeping active. There are just so many benefits to it.
“The main thing I was very proud of in this instance was the generosity of parents. The fundraising side of the program was not compulsory but so many got on board. Also people who had a connection with heart health, or who had been impacted by a heart problem or had a relative who had, were more than happy to donate.”
Mrs Hallinan said skipping had been embraced by the whole school, with a group called the ‘Joey’s Jumpers’ meeting in the playground once a week to skip. Every student is invited to take part.
“It’s packed out,” she said.
“There are a few children in my class who are really good helpers and teach the younger ones how to skip. We have some students in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 who can do some really good tricks. It motivates the whole school to be active.”
“I like the fact that it is minimal equipment, they can all get involved. Because gyms these days use skipping as a form of fitness, the boys in the class get majorly involved as well.
“In my 30 years of teaching I’ve loved skipping. I always have a skipping rope in my bag if we go on an excursion because skipping is something quick and simple that the children love.”