SPARTA, NJ - It was a record breaking year for the Alpine Elementary school Jump Rope for Heart campaign.  Students jumped their way to raising $7,185.74 for the American Heart Association. 

The students rotated through several different stations in the gymnasium, using the skills they learned in the jump rope unit.  The kindergarten through second grade students had learned six to eight jump rope styles.

"They also learned about the functions of the heart and how to maintain a healthy heart," physical education teacher Lisa Saparito said. 

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February was heart health awareness month.  The Alpine school community have been participating in this fundraiser for a number of years.  Last year the program raised $4,311 so this year "the physical education teachers at Alpine challenged the students to raise $4,000" according to Saparito.

The theme this year was the Zoo Crew.  The physical education teachers agreed they would dress like animals if the students reached the goal.  Holding up their end of the bargain, Saparito dressed as a penguin, "which everyone knows is my favorite."  Arthur Angnor dressed up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Students that donated to the American Heart Association also signed the physical education teachers’ Jump Rope for Heart t-shirts and decorated the bulletin board with hearts that they decorated, according to Saparito.

"The physical education department commends all of the students for being so eager to help others while learning jump rope skills and would like to thank the PTO and the community for their continued support in all that we do," Saparito said.