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Photo by Jackie Grumish Students at Starr Elementary raised more than $7,000 for Jump Rope for Heart, which benefits the American Heart Association. Pictured above, the students held a school-wide "jump off," where kids jumped rope to see who could go the longest without messing up.

Students jump for hearts

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Students at Starr Elementary raised $7,185.87 for Jump Rope for Heart, a program that promotes physical activity and heart health through jumping rope.

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"You only have one heart," A.J. Zinck, physical education teacher at Starr Elementary, told the kids on Friday.

This was the third year Starr Elementary participated in Jump Rope for Heart, Zinck said. The first year students raised $5,600 and last year the group raised $4,000.

"This was more than other years, but was also our first time running it in April," he said. "Having a longer time after the holidays and the New Year may have helped. The nice weather -- kids being outside at recess, being able to practice at recess and (build) more hype may have helped."

As part of the fundraiser for the American Heart Association, first- through fifth-graders had the option of participating. Students collected donations and on the day the money was due, students jumped rope in class.

"There is no set amount of jumps, there is no set sponsor for a set amount of jumps," Zinck said. "Basically, people donate, we jump rope -- whether or not people donate or collect. We still jump rope for fun."

Nearly 100 kids participated in the event his year, Zinck said. The top student collected $520.

"This is by far the most we've raised," he said. "It was an awesome job by our kids/parents/community."

To celebrate the students' success, the school hosted a jump rope show, a sort of variety show that allowed students to show off their skills and tricks.

The American Heart Association funds research, programs and education to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. The Jump Rope for Heart program is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

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Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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