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Mt. Kisco Daily Voice serves Mt. Kisco, NY
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Mount Kisco Elementary Kids Jump for Heart Health

MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — Gym classes in Mount Kisco Elementary School this week have a different magnitude to them, as the kids have been jumping up and down while learning valuable lessons about their health.

Thanks to the “Jump Rope For Heart” program that is installed for the week, the students and their families have pitched in up to $10 towards the American Heart Association research. This is the fourth year the school is taking part in the program, which includes talking about healthy diets, consistent exercise and body awareness.

“As they’re doing the jumps, they are keeping their body strong, as jumping ropes is great exercise,” said physical education teacher John DelFavero. “We’re also teaching them about living a healthy lifestyle and about the importance of the American Heart Association.”

The money raised will most likely amount to a few hundred dollars, DelFavero said, which acts as a nice gesture for the organization. But the weeklong program is more for the kids’ own benefits.

“We’re teaching the values of the AHA and jump rope to establish healthy habits, teaching kids how to prevent certain kinds of heart diseases or conditions,” said fellow physical education teacher Melissa Ponzio. “We’re embedding healthy habits into their daily lives and daily routines, and jumping rope is a great way to do that.”

Ramona Englebrecht, the vice president of Youth Markets for the AHA, was at the program on Wednesday, talking to the students about the importance of what they are doing this week. After being impressed by the high-tech nature of the class (as the teachers used digital stopwatches on a projector screen), she got down to business and enlightened the students about smart choices.

“You want kids to develop habits early on in terms of healthy eating and being physically fit for a lifetime,” Englebrecht said. “So by exposing them to physical activities, maybe later on they’ll continue them, be it golf, running, kayaking, whatever the experience is, to keep them heart healthy for a lifetime is key.”

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