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P.S. 199 Students Attempt a Jump into Guinness Record Book

By Leslie Albrecht | October 13, 2011 5:53pm
Students in a gym class participated in a national effort to break a jumping jacks world record.
Students in a gym class participated in a national effort to break a jumping jacks world record.
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Michelle Ciulla-Lipkin

UPPER WEST SIDE — Students at P.S. 199 tried to jump into the history books on Wednesday.

Kids at the school, on West 70th Street between Amsterdam and West End avenues, participated in a nationwide effort to break the Guinness World Record for the most number of people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

Led by First Lady Michelle Obama, the mass jumping event was meant to show kids that exercise is fun. Organizers needed more than 20,000 people to do jumping jacks for one minute between Tuesday, Oct. 12, when Obama kicked off the initiative at the White House, and Wednesday, Oct. 13.

At P.S. 199, the event was supposed to be outside, but rain forced students to jump inside their classrooms. All 32 classes in the school, from kindergarten to fifth grade, participated. City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, served as an official eyewitness to the record-setting attempt.

"Do we get any money if we win?" asked one fourth-grade student before his class started their 60 seconds of jumping up and down. "Unfortunately there's no money, but there's the thrill of making history," said a parent volunteer. That was enough to inspire the pint-sized jumpers, who gamely leaped up and down, flailing their arms.

Seven-year-old Jamie Berrin, a P.S. 199 third-grader, declared 60 seconds of jumping jacks "very fun," but tiring. "At the last part, we started slowing down," Berrin said. "When we stopped we all collapsed on the floor."

Students will know if their efforts paid off in a few weeks when the "Guinness Book Of World Records" reviews documents from participating schools to calculate whether the record has been broken, said Guinness spokeswoman Sara Wilcox.