Tips from Coordinators
Michelle Whittingham - Former Colorado AHPERD JRFH State Coordinator
"The basics of my events:
I have 2 classes of students per class period (about 45 students).
The students from either music or art come to the gym for their specials time. I then use the art or music teacher as a volunteer for the day.
I have 2 events (4 track school) so that all students get to participate.
All of my students participate in the Jump regardless of if they brought in donations or not.
One Month before your event:
- Hand out envelopes one month in advance from your event. This will give students time to ask out of town relatives and friends for donations.
- Call your local American Heart Association branch and reserve a health fair display. The display is free for you to borrow. It contains items such as "Tubes of Fat" that shows the fat content in certain foods. It also has displays and models that depict what a person's mouth and lungs would look like if they used/smoked tobacco. The students really get into this on the day of your Jump.
- Contact a local hospital or doctors office to borrow stethoscopes for your event. The students can listen to their heartbeat after they jump. Be sure to buy alcohol pads to clean the scopes after each class.
- Have an assembly for your school to watch the video "Jump On" about how to collect online donations.
- Hang the Thank You Gift posters around your school for your students to see. Get samples of the Thank You Gifts for your students to try out.
One to Two weeks before your event:
- Remind students that Jump Rope for Heart is coming up. Remind them when they come to physical education class.
- Put the date in the school and classroom newsletter. If your school has announcements in the morning, remind students then too.
- Practice jumping rope in class or at recess. Students are more likely to enjoy the jump event if they are good at jumping rope.
- Teach students that there are many ways to jump rope, including basic jump skills and advanced jump rope skills, Chinese jump rope, long jump ropes, partner jumping and jumping using a hula-hoop. It does not need to be limited to "traditional" jump rope skills.
- Have a Jump Rope for Heart poster contest. They can be any size and made out of any product. I allow each student to vote on his/her favorite poster during the Jump event. The winner of the poster contest gets to go to lunch with me for a prize. You may want to consider having an age bracket contest so that 1st grade is not competing with 5th grade.
- Seek out your parent volunteers to help your run your event. I use a minimum of 4 parent volunteers for each event.
- Use the spreadsheet is on the CD that AHA sends with the Jump collection envelopes. Add your own information in the spreadsheet including your name, school and JRFH date. Assign names to the different pages on the spreadsheet for each classroom teacher so that you can easily flip from one class to the next when counting donations.
- Start hanging up posters that have been turned in for poster contest. Number each poster for anonymous voting purposes.