Kids jump to break world record

October 24, 2011

Martinsville Bulletin

More than 400 students at Patrick Henry Elementary School recently contributed about 2,400 jumping jacks to a nationwide effort to set a new world record for most jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

Students participated by doing one continuous minute of jumping jacks in the gym.

The event was in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, which encourages kids and families to get healthy and active, according to a news release. The idea to participate locally came from a student, third-grader Finley Underwood, who found out about the event and suggested to Principal Terry Wiita that the school take part, the release said.

Doing so fit well with the health initiatives under way at Patrick Henry Elementary, Wiita said.

“We’re trying to focus as a school on physical fitness,” she said.

In addition to the jumping jacks event, the school encourages exercise with a daily walking program in the gym before school in partnership with Activate Martinsville-Henry County. During a recent week, students walked 110 miles’ worth of laps in the gym, according to the release.

The school and Activate also encourage students to walk to and from school. Last year, Patrick Henry students participated in two “fun runs” in J. Frank Wilson Park, and they plan to repeat those events, Wiita said.

The first lady kicked off the “Let’s Jump” event Oct. 11, organized by National Geographic Kids. Schools across the country participated between 3 p.m. Oct. 11 and 3 p.m. Oct. 12 in an effort to break the record of 20,425 people doing jumping jacks in 24 hours.

According to the National Geographic Kids website, all groups that took part in the minute of jumping must send in documentation by Wednesday. Guinness then will take a final tally and determine whether a new record was set, which could take several months, the site said.

For more information on Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative and ideas for getting active as a family, visit


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