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District Five teacher receives national Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart Recognition Award

CHAPIN, SC – Lake Murray Elementary physical education teacher Carmen Plemmons has been selected for a national Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart Recognition Award from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America. Plemmons was selected for her commitment, leadership, and creative involvement in the program. She will receive the award on March 16 at SHAPE America’s National Convention & Expo in Boston.

Plemmons has been involved with Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart for 27 years, with this being her 11th year coordinating the program at Lake Murray Elementary School. The school switches off between participating in the Jump Rope For Heart and the Hoops For Heart programs each year, with this school year being a Jump Rope For Heart year. Every student participated and Lake Murray Elementary raised a total of $26,434.34 to benefit the American Heart Association. The money raised goes towards research and health education.

“I’m very honored to be nationally recognized because there are thousands of PE teachers and others that coordinate Jump Rope For Heart events in their schools and in their counties being a positive message,” said Plemmons. “I’m very thankful and excited that I was chosen to be highlighted this year with our Jump Rope For Heart program at Lake Murray. I might be the one receiving it, but it’s really an award that truly belongs to everybody at this school.”

Plemmons has witnessed the many ways that Jump Rope For Heart has benefitted her students. They become more physically active and improve in sports because of the jump rope skills they learn in class. Beyond their promise and commitment to their own health with the program, they also commit to the health of others. They see the impact they can have on family, friends, and people around the world. Plemmons explained, “They understand that their voices are being heard. I just love how it has empowered the kids to own their own health but to think of others in a way that they hadn’t thought of before… now they’re thinking community and they’re thinking globally. They’re realizing this impact is beyond them and they are really proud of it.”

Bonnie-jean Buckett, Executive Director of SHAPE America’s South Carolina affiliate, SCAHPERD said, “Carmen is an example of going beyond the call of duty to encourage her students to take proactive steps in maintaining heart health.” Plemmons also coaches the Jump Rope For Heart Demo Team, Lightning Strikes, at Lake Murray Elementary. They travel across the state performing at halftime shows, heart walks, and other schools to support the American Heart Association.

“Lake Murray Elementary is blessed to have Mrs. Plemmons as one of our Physical Education teachers. She is enthusiastic about helping students be physically fit,” said Principal Claire Thompson. “Not only does she teach students the skills needed to participate in activities throughout their lifetime, she also leads them to help others through events that support good health such as Jump Rope For Heart. Her energy, enthusiasm, and positive spirit make her an award winner every year in our eyes at Lake Murray Elementary School!”

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