Pupils raise money, heart rates at event

Neighbors

February 22, 1999|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ELKRIDGE LANDING Middle School pupils jumped rope, shot baskets and swung Hula Hoops around their hips last week to raise money for the American Heart Association.

Physical education teacher Carol Jones expected to raise about $4,000 through pledges for the school's Jump and Hoops for Heart events.

Participation in the activities, held during physical education and health classes Thursday and Friday, was voluntary.

Jones and her colleagues, Jeff Freimanis and Charles Stewart, organized the event to complement the physical education curriculum and help pupils reach their target heart rates and build endurance.

Teams of pupils in the gym played three-on-three basketball in five-minute matchups, with winners moving to another hoop to play another team.

In the cafeteria, Jones directed a warm-up, then asked the pupils to jump steadily until the ropes caught in their feet or they could not jump anymore.

She called out the elapsed time every 30 seconds.

Two children Jasmine Boyd and Brittany Gordon -- were still jumping at the end of three minutes. Smiling radiantly, Jasmine jumped with an easy grace, seemingly unaware that her shoes were untied.

After the endurance jump, pupils formed a line and jumped "rapid fire" -- into a swinging rope and out before the rope came around again.

Shannon Rigney and Allie Perrelli turned the rope for Mandy Witmer, Ryan Liggitt, Hannah Bialecki, Alison Tarwater, Brittany Gordon and three Ashleys, Ashley Patterson, Ashley Miller and Ashley Lorusso.

The members of that group proudly announced they had completed 37 consecutive jumps.

Shannon said she has learned "to exercise to stay healthy and get her heart rate up." Brittany said the exercise taught her "how to work together when we play."

In another group, Kim Peal, Aakanksha Khuliar, Janette Dansby, Jasmine Boyd, Brittany Wilson and Jessica Chapman worked in rhythm.

Four pupils jumped in unison while two group members turned the rope.

Then, in a jumping activity called "helicopter," Jones stood in the center of the group swinging a long, weighted rope in a wide circle.

The pupils jumped over the rope as it passed.

They cooled down by whirling hula hoops to a limbo tune.

Each pupil received a certificate from the American Heart Association.

Rock-A-Thon

Pupils exercised mind and body in a fund-raiser at Burleigh Manor Middle School Feb. 12, when the school held its sixth Rock-A-Thon.

The event raised money for the fight against teen smoking.

In the morning, pupils took turns rocking in chairs decorated to illustrate this year's theme, "Smoking, I Can Live Without It!"

They danced and participated in other nonsmoking activities in the afternoon.

Barbara Mongello, the health teacher who coordinates the event, says that each year the pupils' decorations have become more creative.

This year, 42 teams of pupils participated.

Teams of 10 to 15 pupils meet with an advisory teacher every two weeks during school hours, at lunch or after school. Some came in early Friday morning to set up their rocking-chair displays.

Sixth-grade teacher Rosemarie Suszkiw advised this year's winning team.

Suszkiw married in June, moved to the area from North Carolina and began her first year of teaching at Burleigh Manor last fall.

Her group of 10 sixth-graders created a display on the domino effect, illustrating how smoking one cigarette could lead to the grave.

The team's rocking chair was in a huge cardboard box decorated as a grave with ivy, Spanish moss, roses and daisies.

The tombstone included this poem: "I smoke a pack, my lungs turn black and now I am lying on my back."

The display included a plastic skeleton with two cigarettes stuck between its teeth.

Pupils took turns rocking in the chair, dressed in a robe reminiscent of the Grim Reaper.

Team members included Crystal Ai, Angela Lee, Ricky Mason, Anna Lee, Robin Rohwer, Alex Peck, Andrew Scholfield, Andrew Finnamore, Matt Curtin and Pam Thomas.

They won a pizza and ice cream party.

An eighth-grade team, led by advisory teacher Brett Lebowitz, won for its display, "Don't Get Hooked."

Their rocking chair sat in the mouth of a huge handmade papier-mache fish. The display included live goldfish, a fishing rod that looked like a cigarette and a bowl of free goldfish crackers.

Seventh-graders advised by Susan Mako won for their display, "I Will Survive."

A tape of the song of the same name helped illustrate the future of a nonsmoker -- dancing and happy.

On the other side of the display, a "smoker" looked close to death.

The sixth-grade team, advised by Meg Burton, created a psychic booth with a crystal ball, scarves and beads.

"Look into the Future," it encouraged, suggesting that for those who smoke, the future is not bright.

The American Lung Association provided Mongello with hospital bracelets. Pupils were encouraged to write on a bracelet the name of someone they knew who had died of lung cancer, smoked or suffered from lung disease.

The bracelets were "strung down Student Street," Mongello said, referring to a hallway in the school.

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