An Update from SHAPE America


Dear SHAPE America Member,
In the late 1970s, physical education teacher and SHAPE America member Jean Barkow of Milwaukee’s Riverside High School held the first “Jump-Rope-a-Thon” to build community spirit and get students excited about physical activity, all while raising money for her local American Heart Association Chapter.

Jean’s event was a big success and other schools soon held events of their own. Shortly thereafter, the Jump Rope For Heart program was launched nationwide, co-sponsored by SHAPE America and the American Heart Association.

Now, 39 years later, Jean’s vision and passion have impacted millions of children, teachers and families who know more about heart health and the importance of physical activity because of their participation in the Jump Rope For Heart — and Hoops For Heart — programs.

In schools across the country, these programs have instilled students with a sense of pride and altruism through their fundraising efforts for heart-health research. Students have also experienced moments of pure joy by accomplishing their goals and celebrating alongside their peers and teachers.

These programs have had a significant impact on schools and communities nationwide and we are truly grateful for the tireless dedication of our members and the countless volunteers who have ensured the success of JRFH/HFH.

Over the decades, the partnership between SHAPE America and the American Heart Association has evolved, and the needs of our members have changed. After nearly 40 years, it’s now time for SHAPE America and our state affiliates to head in a new direction with Jump Rope For Heart. On July 1, 2018, the Joint Project partnership between SHAPE America, its 51 state affiliate organizations, and the American Heart Association will conclude.

Although the time has come for this partnership to end, we remain committed to providing you with the tools and resources you need to help students live their best life through effective health and physical education.

We are also excited about new opportunities and partnerships on the horizon that will give you more choices for school-wide programs that get students and families excited about health, physical education and physical activity — all while raising much-needed funds for your school and community.

As the school year comes to a close, I wish you an active and healthy summer and look forward to an exciting year ahead. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at smorris@shapeamerica.org.