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Hastings schools exercise for one minute to break record

Students and adults follow the exercises from the Internet as they do the JAM Minute Thursday morning. (Star Gazette photos by Jane Lightbourn)1 / 2
At exactly 10 a.m. this classroom stopped what they were doing and exercised for one minute. (Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn)2 / 2

One minute of exercise can help people stay focused. That's way the JAM (Just a Minute) School Program began last year in Hastings School District 200.

The highlight came last Thursday, Sept. 27, at exactly 10 a.m. when about 600 students and staff at Pinecrest Elementary School exercised for one minute. They were part of the more than 1.2 million students and other school people across the country competing together to break the world record.

"We learned about the JAM School Program last year via an email which explained their free program for schools," said Pinecrest physical education specialist Gay Wilker. "Schools who sign up receive an email that includes  a newsletter and a new JAMming minute routine."

She indicated that several of the teachers started to incorporate the JAM into their program as a "Brain Break" when they were transitioning from one subject area to another or to regenerate the brain/body and stay focused.

This year JAM decided to set a world record for the most people JAMming together. The last information Wilker received (as of early Friday morning) was that 1.2 million people had signed up to participate.

"I haven't heard if that was a world record or not, but I do know our Pinecrest community had fun doing the JAM," said Wilker.

According to the JAM School Program web site, "JAM (Just a Minute) School Program brings physical activity and health education into the classroom.

The JAMmin Minute is a one-minute routine that includes five very simple exercises the kids (and staff) can do while either standing at their desk or sitting in a chair.