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AUSTIN EDITION Jumping for a good cause

Neveln students recognized at Timberwolves game

By Roxana Orellana

rorellana@postbulletin.com

Neveln Elementary students took center stage at center court Friday night at the Timberwolves game for raising more than $2,000 during their Jump Rope for Heart day.

Three Neveln students and others across the state were recognized for their work and dedication to the program.

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Neveln students learn about the benefits of rope jumping as part of the physical education curriculum, and three years ago, gym teacher Sara Ihrke introduced the community service project to the students.

In those short years, the jumping has helped more than just teaching students about their health, she said. Students raised the money on their own and then did the rope jumping for the funds collected. The money was then given to the American Heart Association.

"It's wonderful. It teaches them that they're helping other people. I am surprised we could raise so much money. Last year the students collected $1,400.

Students volunteer to participate in the program. At the end of the campaign, those who participated received gifts and recognition from the American Heart Association.

This year schools that raised more than $1,500 received discounted tickets to a Timberwolves game. The top three money raisers in the school got free tickets to attend the game, where they participated in a pregame parade with other students.

Third-grade student Jasmin Hultgren, 8, raised the highest amount at Neveln -- more than $200. "I liked raising the money. It helps save people's lives."

Jasmin said she and her father asked neighbors to help with donations.

Fourth-grade student Hailey Hughson-Farrell, 10, raised $80. Her strategy was asking her mother and grandmother to help by asking their friends at work. "I thought it was pretty fun. I like to jump rope," she said.

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Taylor Lady, also a third-grade student at Neveln, collected the second most with a total of $125.

The Jump Rope for Heart is an annual event that takes place in February.

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