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Teacher: Genni Kennedy who teaches at Harrison Elementary in Lakewood, OH. Genni Kennedy can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: District Wide Jump Rope For Heart

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To come together as a district and participate in an American Heart Association Jump Rope event. In addition it allows children an opportunity to meet students their age from other buildings in a social setting, before they go on to middle school.

Suggested Grade Level: 3-5

Materials Needed: Jump ropes, tables and cloths, floor mats, music or professional DJ, PA system, balloons, bathroom accessibility, concession stand (optional), door prizes (optional).

District Wide Jump Rope For Heart

The Physical Education teachers get together to organize an all district Jump Rope For Heart event that we hold at our high school. This event is for 4th and 5th graders only. Our elementary buildings are K-5. The middle schoolers do Hoops For Heart (as opposed to JRFH).

Each school is responsible for bringing their own floor mats and long and short jump ropes. They need enough mats for their participants to sit on while they are waiting their turn to jump. In the past 3 years we paid a professional DJ $300.00. This year, I found a professional DJ who was willing to donate his time and emcee the event. We don't have a budget for this event, so we ask for donations from our PTA's. With that money, we buy healthy snacks and drinks for the participants, balloons, and table cloths. A local hospital has been donating money each year to give each student who participates, a t-shirt. I design the t-shirt and we agree to put the hospital's logo on it. We get cheerleaders and sometimes the mascot to attend. The cheerleaders help set up the event, make up an appropriate cheer and jump rope with the kids.

We hold the event on a Saturday morning in February from 9am-12noon.
Order of the event:

1)9-9:30 registration

2)9:30-10:30 Short rope jumping

Students number off 1,2,3's on their mats.
DJ calls out numbers to jump for about a minute.
DJ adlibs how they call the numbers, adds in cheerleaders, teachers, parents etc.

3)10:30-11:00 Snack Break and Jump Rope Team demonstration

We have had jump rope teams from outside the district (AHA) teams and teams from one of the schools participating, doing the demonstrations. The rest of the kids eat their snacks while watching the demonstration.

4)11:00-11:30 Long Rope jumping

5)11:30-12:00 DJ plays dance music (Hokey Pokey, Electric Slide, Bunny Hop, Locomotion, Chicken Dance, Cha Cha song etc.)

We do this in the main gym at our high school. Around the perimeter of the gym, we have tables set up. At those tables are representatives from local organizations. They are their to provide healthy information. Some of the organizations we have had:

American Heart Association (always there)
Cleveland Dietetic Association
LifeShare Blood Services
Lakewood Hospital

We have developed a good relationship with our local community organizations and next year will do even more as I have spoken with a school board member who gave me some good ideas for getting donations. It has been a very successful event and we have been recognized by our mayor with proclamations.


Can vary this for Hoops For Heart.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

I invite all school administrators, board members, local media, mayor and council representatives. This year we actually had 2 TV stations come out and cover our event and air it on the news. I learned how to do a news release correctly when I was at my state OAHPERD convention this year. It really has made a difference.

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Posted on PEC: 3/3/2003 and has received 85 votes.

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