A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Students jump for dollars

With dance tunes booming through the gymnasium Friday, students at Washington Elementary jumped their way to raising $35,000 during the school's Kids Heart Challenge event. It was loosely controlled mayhem, with children everywhere bouncing between different styles: there were lopers, backward jumpers and solo high jumpers in addition to the more usual techniques of jumping rope.

Physical education teacher Patty Rothamel said students in grades K-4 took over the gym grade by grade all day long, each group jumping for just under an hour, "strengthening their hearts while supporting a great cause."

"It was a fun-filled day of jumping rope, playing helicopter, long rope jumping, playing Chinese jump ropes, twirling the skip-its and participating in a jump roping contest," Rothamel said. "One of my highlights of the day was when a student walked up to me and told me, 'This was the best day of my life!'"

In its 25th year of competing, the Cloquet public school came in second place for most money raised statewide for the American Heart Association, second only to St. Paul Academy and Summit School, of St. Paul.