October 13, 2011

Jumping for JOOI is first step

Students at Vision Charter School prepare to "Let's Jump!"

On Wednesday, October 12, 508 students started their day doing jumping jacks at Vision Charter School in Caldwell/Middleton, Idaho.

Prompted by the newly formed Junior Optimist Club, the school was part of the worldwide effort to break the Guinness World Record for the most people doing jumping jacks at the same time. They joined such high profile jumpers as Michelle Obama who led from the White House lawn.

Word isn't in yet if they were successful in breaking the record, reports must be filed and verified, but one thing is for sure, it was a great experience for the Vision Charter School Junior Optimist Club.

The club is just being formed, recruiting members and lining up community service projects to perform. The founding students saw this effort as a way to bring attention to physical fitness and have fun with people all around the world at the same time. They called their effort "Jump for JOOI," in tribute to the name for the youth membership of Optimist International: Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI). 

According to Erin Lair, school advisor to the club, the high school club plans to be active in the school and community. In addition to their ongoing recruiting efforts, their next project is a backpack program for students on free and reduced lunch. The Junior Optimists will fill backpacks with easy-to-prepare foods and students who are food insecure can discretely pick them up to help get through the weekend.

One the strengths of the JOOI program is it fully self directed by the students. They see the need and develop ways to make a difference in their community.

The Junior Optimist Club is sponsored by the Middleton Area Optimist Club. It is only the second JOOI Club in Idaho.

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