By Rob Glidden
Students at Strong Elementary School ended a fundraiser for The Mill Foundation for Kids with a “jumpathon,” the latest in a series of collaborations between the school and the organization.
Beginning with first-graders, students in different grades filled the school’s gym and divided into smaller groups. In each group, one student would grab a jump-rope and jump for a full minute before passing the rope to another student. Many students opted to continue jumping without a rope as they waited for their turn.
Second-grade student Allyson Rogus said the event was a new experience.
“Now I know how to jump rope,” she said. “That was the first time I did it.”
Fellow jumper Laney Sullivan was not a newcomer, but enjoyed the chance to use the rope during school hours.
“I like jumping,” she said. “I think that was my sixth time.”
The Mill Foundation, which received the YMCA’s Reaching Out award earlier this year, is a local group dedicated to providing toys to children with pediatric illnesses.
“We’re raising money but we’re also encouraging kids to do something nice that would put a smile on another kid’s face,” said Tonya Borla, who organized the fundraiser for the foundation. “The jumping part just keeps them active.”
Second grade teacher Melissa O’Neil has helped coordinate the activities from the school’s end. She said that the efforts synched well with the STEPS “developmental assets” philosophy, specifically the asset that deals with a connection between children and the surrounding community.
“We’ve done several activities with the Mill Foundation this year,” she said. “We are seeing an overwhelming response and the kids are excited.”