By NEIL PIERSON
Energy is one thing elementary school kids have an abundance of, and Betz Elementary put it to good use last Thursday.
This was the ninth year Betz has joined in with Jump Rope for Heart, a fundraiser started by the American Heart Association, that has grade-school participants across the country.
Betz health and fitness teacher Brenda Klohe said it's a way for students to help themselves and others.
“The money we raise goes towards research and education, towards the prevention of (heart disease),” Klohe said. “We've raised over $15,000 at our school.”
The school had 139 participants in this year's event, both from Betz and from the Cheney School District's Home Works!
The kids seek donations from friends and family, and many have been especially motivated, Klohe said, because they know someone who has been affected by heart disease.
Eastern Washington University's mascot, Swoop, attended the event to provide extra spirit, as did about 20 parent and teacher volunteers who manned a number of ropes throughout the school.
The students were divided into six groups, all of which had roughly the same number from each grade level.
Throughout the two-hour event, they rotated through four jump rope and hula hoop activities, a heart-healthy snack station and an educational video station.
“What's really great is we have the older kids with the younger kids, and they keep them under wing to help them out,” Klohe said.
Neil Pierson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org