Skipping out of school used to be a rare occurrence at Silver Creek Elementary, but now it has reached the point that the entire student population of about 150 students skipped out of school last Thursday afternoon—with the principal’s full endorsement, of course.
Principal Bruce Becker even joined in on the skipping fun, spending more than an hour in the parking lot spinning the double-Dutch ropes at the most challenging of nine skipping stations.
This was the school’s 27th year hosting a Jump Rope for Heart event — a fundraiser for the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation that also provides a fitness, skills and spirit-building challenge for students.
“The kids raised money for a worthy cause, while having fun and benefiting from the positive health rewards from skipping,”Becker said.
“We’ve raised between $2500 to $4000 a year since I’ve been doing it,” said Grade 6-7 teacher, Catina Carpenter.
Carpenter took over the Jump Rope file from Jenny Dobras when Dobras transferred to Coquihalla Elementary eight years ago. Carpenter says that while the entire school takes part in the skipping event, it’s only about 25 per cent of students who participate in collecting pledges for the fundraiser.
“This year’s top fundraiser, so far, is Naomi Wright, but students can continue to bring in money until the end of this week. Angelie Giroux-Radmore is in second place and we’ve currently collected $2980.25 this year.”
Students were split into nine multi-aged groups, and senior students led their groups around to the skipping stations that were hosted by teachers.
“We usually try and do nine stations and jump for an hour and a half,” Carpenter said. “We try and change things up, so everyone feels successful.”
Some locations worked on individual rope skills, while others worked on long ropes. Carpenter said the hula-hoop skipping station was included because the solid hoops make it easier for the young students.
“Mrs. Tuivai has the water station and she has the kids leap-frog from her room at the far end of the school, all the way down to the gym,” Carpenter added.
With so much up and down action, even the weather decided to join in the fun: the event started under cloudy skies and rain showers threatened to get serious before backing off to partial sun by the end of the event.
“We always have it on the last day before the Victoria Day weekend,” said the organizer. “In my eight years, we’ve never had to have an indoor event.”