Article and photos by Dan Cosgrove

The Arnoldsburg "Lights On!" program took the name "lights on" literally, as students had a sleepover at the school last Friday, staying up late into the night-yes, with the lights on!

The sleepover was both a way to say thank you to the students for their outstanding behavior and performance in the "Lights On!" after school program, and to bring about awareness of heart disease and the importance of a healthy lifestyle, especially in regards to diet and exercise. Part of the sleepover was a jump-a-thon ("Jump Rope For Heart") for the American Heart Association. Additionally, for two weeks leading up to the sleepover, students were introduced to different facts about heart disease and the importance of a healthy diet and proper exercise.

Students raised over $800 for the American Heart Association with a promise to jump rope during the evening. Funds raised for Jump Rope For Heart help fight heart disease and stroke, the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. Jump Rope For Heart is also designed to promote physical fitness and heart health through the fun activity of jumping rope. It is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

With Friday being a Faculty Senate day, the students began the festivities soon after the half day dismissal. After a classroom discussion on dealing with emergency situations (calling 911) and other health topics, students loaded a bus for the skating rink in Spencer.

Upon returning to the school, students sat down for a healthy dinner. We thank Prices Market in Spencer for all the delicious fruit they donated. We also thank Pizza Hut and Greg (Shotgun) and Patty Laughlin for their kind donations (someone told me pizza was healthy). While I'm at it, let me thank McDonalds in Spencer for the gift certificates used for prizes and Dairy Queen for the low fat cakes they contributed. We also thank Grantsville Foodland. A big thanks to the parents and grandparents who made the event possible, including Crystal Dye and Brenda Holcomb. A special thanks to Jeannie Montgomery, Betty Ellison, Patty Laughlin and Charles Thomas who were either kind enough, or maybe a little bit crazy enough, to spend the night. A final thanks to all the parents who thought they were going to watch their children jump rope but ended up jumping for them during one part of the program (you were good sports!).

On behalf of the American Heart Association, I would like to thank everyone who donated to the jump-a-thon. I would like to acknowledge Tom and Lynette Wilford and Calhoun Kids, inc. for their generous contributions.

Amber Wilford, holding two hearts in the front, was one of 39 students who signed up for the Jump Rope For Heart "Jump-a-thon." Amber was the top fundraiser, jumping in honor of her father

Some of our jumpers

Parents join the jumpers (who's that jumping on one foot in the background?)

Various games and activities gave student students a break during the 2 hour jump-a-thon

Waiting patiently. . .

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