Students were lined up by grade across Booth Field, but unlike your average emergency drill, the attitude in the air was cheerful. Teachers and administrators were among the crowd as well, along with parents standing in as witnesses. At once, students began to do jumping jacks. The pounding of their feet on the field pushed the scent of grass into the air. The sounds of laughing and hands slapping legs and clapping filled the space.
At noon on Oct. 1., 608 members of the Marlborough community congregated on Booth Field in an attempt at the Guinness World Record for Most People Doing Jumping Jacks for One Minute in a 24 Hour Period, organized by CAHPERD, the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
“We came together as a community,” science instructor Lisa Ellis said.
The attempt was a follow-up to last year’s event, also organized by CAPHERD, in which a similar record was broken: Most People Jumping Rope for 10 Minutes.
The number to beat was 20,455. At least 26,365 jumpers throughout the USA, the majority of whom were school-age children, joined together to break the jumping jack record, although many, including Physical Education Department Head Julie Napoleon, believe the number to be higher.
“With all the schools still reporting numbers we will be FAR beyond the 26,365 recorded here,” she said in an e-mail sent to all employees following the event.
The record attempt was a challenge from First Lady Michelle Obama, as part of her “Let’s Move” campaign on fitness and the elimination of childhood obesity. The campaign also includes an emphasis on balanced, healthy eating, reduction of sugary treats and federal encouragement of school gardens. According to the website, Obama developed the program in order “to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation.”
Schools from across California, and across the U.S. were joined by groups jumping at Jamba Juices and other locations; Jamba Juice was a sponsor of the event and sold Jamba Juice to the Marlborough students and faculty that day.