Tupelo students pause for exercise

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo students did their part on Thursday in trying both to set a world record and get a healthy start to the school day.
Kindergarten and first-grade students throughout the school district, as well as some second-graders, participated in the JAM World Record attempt Thursday morning.
Students across the country exercised for at least one minute at 10 a.m. local time in the program, which was sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative, among others. JAM stands for Just A Minute.
“The main thing is it takes just a minute to take a brain break and have an activity and make it fun,” said Carver Elementary School physical education teacher Sherry Rial. “You can tell the students are having a ball.”
It is unknown whether the world record was broken, but the program appeared to have fewer national participants than its goal of 2 million JAMmers. The event’s website reported about 1.2 million registered participants as of Thursday afternoon.
In that number were Tupelo students at Carver, Parkway, Thomas Street and Joyner elementary schools. Carver’s early-morning exercise also attracted Tupelo Mayor Jack Reed Jr. and Hank Boerner, co-chair of the Healthy Tupelo Task Force.
“This shows our understanding that the balanced life is the best,” Reed said. “If you are healthy, you learn more. We want to do our part to continue to be the healthiest city in Mississippi. We want to be the healthiest city in America.”
At Carver, students followed the JAM video, which took them through various exercises: raising the roof; moving knees, waist and arms; mimicking a sport and pretending to hula hoop. After the 60-second exercise ended, the students performed several dances they do regularly in physical education classes.
“It was fun to dance with all those other kids,” said first-grader Mason Deas, 7.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com