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Students jump rope for heart challenge

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Strafford R-VI Elementary School began its Kids Heart Challenge, formally known as Jump Rope for Heart.  

The challenge, which runs from Jan. 19-Feb. 15, encourages students to be active and teaches them how to live a healthy lifestyle.

"Each year around Valentine's Day or mostly in January and February, schools around the area put on a fundraiser to help raise money for the American Heart Association," said Dale Bean, physical education coach at Strafford Elementary.

This is about the 20th year for Strafford to participate, according to Bean. During the fundraiser, students learn how to live heart-healthy lifestyles by saying no to tobacco, alcohol, eating sugary foods, drinking lots of water instead of soda and being healthy.

"Students will learn how to jump rope through various jump-roping activities and learn how to do cardiovascular exercises that they can use throughout their lives which will help improve heart health," said Bean. "They will also be able to earn prizes through raising funds. Each level students reach regarding how much money they have raised, they get prizes ranging from key chains, bracelets, T-shirts, jump ropes, kickball, basketball and more."

Bean was fathered into the fundraiser, which was a yearly tradition that the Strafford Elementary School has done for several years.

"Many kids have family members who have heart disease and it’s a fundraiser that has been very special to our community," he said.

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