The Last Jump for Pershing Elementary and Their Push for Official MO Exercise

Pershing Elementary School is a hard-working school. Our students have been working on the jumping jack bill, trying to get it to become the Missouri state exercise. Here’s what’s going on, and our reasons.

Six years ago, on our annual fourth grade field trip to Jefferson City, a few students got the idea to honor General John J. Pershing (when they stopped by the Pershing Boyhood Museum in Laclede, MO) by making the jumping jack the official state exercise. The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders of Pershing Elementary School have been working on this for six years now. We are closer to reaching our goal than ever; now we just need the governor to sign HB 1603.

The jumping jacks have many health benefits. For example, if you do these for 10 minutes, you will burn 95 calories! Even better, this is more calories burned in the same amount of time than other major sport, like walking, dancing, soccer, golf, jumping on a trampoline, or even swimming. So, how does a 10-minute workout like this help Missouri overall? It’s simple. Missouri is the 10th fattest, or rather, most obese, state in the U.S.A. If the jumping jack bill passes, more people will be influenced to do jumping jacks. Then maybe Missouri won’t even be on the obese list. “I think it (jumping jacks) will help people stay fit since Missouri is the tenth fattest state,” says Addie, fourth grader at Pershing Elementary School.

Maybe you know that the creator of the jumping jack was General John J. Pershing. His intention was to do an exercise that didn’t involve getting his soldiers’ uniforms dirty doing push-ups. If the jumping jack bill (HB 1603) becomes a law, we will honor one very important general from World War I. Pershing was the only person to receive the General of the Armies award. Well, he and George Washington, but George wasn’t alive when he got this award. This bill becoming a law will honor Pershing. That is a big deal!

Sometimes overweight citizens feel bad about themselves. They think they look bad. The jumping jacks could help their weight go down when they exercise, and they might feel better about themselves. “There are a lot of overweight people, and the obese percentage will go down if we all do jumping jacks,” says Lauren, sixth grade. “Then there will not be as many overweight people.”

So there you have it. Pershing Elementary School is closer than ever to reaching their goal. HB 1603 is all the way to the governor. This means all six years of hard work from Pershing could mean nothing or everything.

“It would be a big deal here at Pershing because we have been working so hard for so long for this bill to pass,” says Ms. Ransom, Pershing’s school librarian.

And we’re almost there.

Watch the journey of Pershing Elementary students and their efforts to make jumping jacks the state exercise.

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006