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Bashaw ‘Jumps for Fun’

EAST MANATEE — The Bashaw Elementary School parking lot was jumping to the sounds of “Macarena,” “YMCA,” and “Wipeout” as 700 students skipped rope, raising $5,300 for physical education, art and music classes.

“It’s the only way I get funding for my PE program,” said physical education teacher Karen Smith of the Bashaw tradition, which dates back to 1986.

The funds are especially welcome this year, given the rough economy.

“The kids did a great job of collecting for us,” Smith said as children headed to lunch at the school on Morgan Johnson Road.

“Jump for Fun” on Wednesday was the payoff for all the student fundraising: several hours of jumping rope in the sunshine, followed by lunch and then early release.

Randy Fredrickson, assistant principal, applauded Smith for her efforts.

Fredrickson said the students had a blast. “Our coach put so much into this,” Fredrickson said.

Many of the children wore blue Jump for Fun T-shirts, which carried a salute to principal Minnie King, who retires at the end of the school year.

James A. Jones Jr., editor, can be contacted at 708-7916 or send mail to 11121 State Road 70, East Manatee, FL 34202