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Families Jump for Heart Health

The event also raised funds for the American Heart Association.

To kick off the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant, the district invited families and children in kindergarten through 12th grade to participate in the event last week.

Besides aiming at increasing physical activity within families, the Get Fit Adventure event raised money for the American Heart Association, according to Paula Toti, a physical education teacher at . Donations were encouraged, but not required for participation in the event, which was held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, at the high school.

During the event, students from across the district performed jumping skills they have learned, according to Toti. There was also a performance from a jump rope team from Upton. The audience was then invited to participate in jump stations.

“They jumped to music and when the music stopped they rotated to a new station,” Toti said. “Stations were set up around the gym and many types of jumping took place, some with ropes and some without. High School students were involved with jumping and running each of the stations.”

The school district received word on Oct. 1 that it received the $1.4 million grant, which will be used over the next three years, according to Toti.

The Jump Rope for Healthy Hearts event is the first Family Adventure Event required by the grant. The district must hold three such events per year, Toti said, adding that others are being planned at schools throughout the district.

Toti said she is one of many building representatives throughout the district and that each representative will run the events at his or her building. All of the school's representatives are working together on this first event, she said.

A Learn to Dance Day will be held from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at , according to Shirley LeMay, health teacher and Get Fit Family Adventure liaison for the school. An hour of dance instruction by Shrewsbury High School physical education teacher Pam Krause and students from her dance class will be offered to Coolidge students and their families, according to LeMay.

“The hope is that we not only educate students during the day but reach out to the families, community, and get them to think about their overall physical activity,” Toti said. “The grant has provided us with the resources we need to increase physical activity for our students and their families in a variety of ways.”

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