CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is hoping teachers will jump at the chance to get free jump ropes for every elementary and middle school student in the state.
Modern Woodmen of America, a fraternal financial benefit society with more than 750,000 members nationwide, has offered to provide free jump ropes to children along with age-appropriate exercise and nutrition plans for teachers. The program is designed to help teachers incorporate exercise and nutrition lessons within the context of traditional courses, such as math, language arts, science and social studies, according to the group’s website.
“West Virginia schools are dedicated to increasing awareness and educating children about the importance of being healthy and active,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “This program is one more way we can encourage children to move their bodies and make better food choices.”
Research shows that jumping rope is one of the most complete, overall workouts that burns more calories per minute than most other forms of exercise, including running. It can be done just about anywhere without anything more than a good jump rope and cross training shoes.
In addition, jumping rope helps to develop the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which can aid in improving reading skills, and increases memory and mental alertness. Jumping also can improve balance and coordination, reflexes, bone density and muscular endurance.
The Modern Woodmen’s program offers three levels – preschool through second grade, third grade through fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade.
For more information, contact the Office of Healthy Schools at 304-558-8830 or the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.