Students show off their jump rope skills at Akiva’s Jump Rope for Heart Jump-A-Thon
The sound of laughter and cheering echoed through the JCC gym recently as Akiva students gathered together for their annual Jump Rope for Heart Jump-A-Thon. For weeks prior, students learned about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating in their physical education classes, with the underlying goal of raising awareness about heart disease.
Back in 1979, the American Heart Association partnered with the American Alliance for Health to roll out Jump Rope for Heart. The program was designed to teach kids about developing healthy habits, and to educate them on the importance of giving back to their communities. Over 40 years later, this initiative is still going strong, and more than 35,000 schools across the globe participate annually. Since its inception, Jump Rope for Heart has raised over 1 billion dollars for research towards heart disease, which remains the single largest cause of death in the United States.
Jump Rope for Heart is a school-wide initiative, and an opportunity for the entire student body to come together for a greater cause. Coach Emma Cribb, Akiva School’s Physical Education teacher, said, “The program is incredibly impactful for students in a number of ways. Students learn the importance of committing to a goal - in this case a fitness goal and a fundraising goal. In addition to promoting an active lifestyle, Jump Rope for Heart educates students about the importance of heart health, and gives them an opportunity to make a difference on a global scale.”
First grader Lorenzo Rolli was one of the most successful fundraisers at Akiva this year. Lorenzo noted that, “Getting to help kids made me feel good, and everything about Jump Rope for Heart is so fun.” Lorenzo’s mom, Alice Ganier Rolli, added that, “For many weeks (Lorenzo) was encouraging us to run, walk, and be heart healthy. We are so thankful to be a part of this effort.”
The opportunity to feel the joy of helping others is something students experience throughout their years at Akiva. From Jump Rope for Heart, to visiting local non-profits, to running their own fundraising campaigns for local and global charities, Akiva students constantly think about ways to contribute to their communities and beyond. Kol HaKavod to all Akiva students on participating in Jump Rope for Heart, and for all their continuing efforts to make the world a better place.