INDIANAPOLIS - If you feel the ground shake beneath you in the next few weeks, it’s not an earthquake. It’s the result of 329,000 Indiana students jumping rope.
The American Heart Association’s 35th Jump Rope For Heart campaign is kicking off this month in nearly 700 schools around the state. Students participate in a number of activities educating them about heart health, and they also get out their jump ropes and exercise.
“Jump Rope For Heart is an important part of our school year,” said Steve Zinselmeier, PE Teacher at Mayflower Mill Elementary School in Tippecanoe County, who has led students in the event for 30 years. “Students benefit from the heart health education that is part of the program, and they certainly benefit from the physical activity.”
As part of the program, students learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. They are also introduced to kids who have been born with congenital heart defects, the most common cause of infant deaths.
Students are encouraged to fundraise to support life-saving research and education programs.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the kids also appreciate the opportunity to help others by raising money to fight heart disease,” Zinselmeier said.
This year’s Jump Rope For Heart program is expected to raise more than $1.5 million in Indiana, money that will be reinvested in the state. Last year, the American Heart Association invested $3.8 million at universities in Indiana to fund heart research.