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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Calabasas

Lupin Hill Pupils Put Their Heart Into Jump Rope Event

May 25, 1999|ROBERTO J. MANZANO

Children jumping rope--in pairs, in groups or by themselves--filled the playground at Lupin Hill Elementary School on Monday.

Pupils exercised as part of "Jump Rope for Heart," which raises money for the American Heart Assn.

The festive scene included thumping music and balloons as 830 students took turns jumping for as long as 30 minutes at a time. Participants got sponsors to donate funds.

"It created a lot of school spirit, and it's a wonderful community activity for them to give back," said Sharon Lawenda, a third-grade teacher who coordinated the event. "Everyone has someone in the family with a heart problem."

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans, said Cindy Chinchi, an American Heart Assn. spokeswoman. About 960,000 people died nationwide from heart problems in 1998, she said.

A physical education teacher, who wanted students to like both exercise and community service, created the jump rope event 20 years ago. "They get some great exercise, and it plants the seed for community service in the future," Chinchi said. "It really makes them aware of the problem of heart disease."

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