Auburn Commit to Fit jump rope squad shines

Team Auburn
Team Auburn's Aariq White practices a jump at Ilalko Elementary School.
— image credit: Reporter photo

The Team Auburn Commit to Fit jump rope squad recently performed under the bright lights at a Seattle Storm preseason game at KeyArena.

"It was something we've been working on for a year now," said DeeDee Walter-Goodspeed, physical education instructor at Ilalko Elementary School and the team's coach. "It's nice to see the kids learn new skills and be successful using them. That's why we teach."

The team is comprised of 16 boys and girls from Ilalko and 27 kids from Pioneer Elementary under P.E. teacher Michael McKinley. The jump ropers range in age from 7-13.

Team Auburn performed a routine of many jumps and moves at halftime of the Storm game. The team has performed at halftime of an Auburn Riverside High basketball game, at Mt. Baker and other school assemblies.

The jump rope team is part of the Auburn School District's Commit to Fit campaign, which includes a variety of activities held throughout the school year to bring awareness to childhood obesity.

The campaign kicked off in the fall with a day of activities at Grace Community Church. Activities included marketing and an education fair, entertainment, cooking demonstrations, special guest appearances and distribution of materials for community members to fill their "fit kits."

The main objective of the student-led media campaign is to change the culture of health and fitness in the school district and surrounding community.

According to a King County Health Department study, Auburn is the most obese city in King County.

The school district was awarded the Public Health - Seattle & King County Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant for nearly a half-million dollars. The grant funding will provide resources to improve healthy food choices and increase physical fitness activities for students this school year.

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