Myakka River Elementary student jumps to success

ENGLEWOOD — Myakka River Elementary School student Cheyenne Burchell has reason to jump for joy.

Burchell, of Port Charlotte, was awarded top fundraising honors from the American Heart Association for “Jump Rope for Heart,” raising $150.

“‘Jump Rope for Heart’ is a fundraising program that helps the American Heart Association with research,” said James Hayes, a physical education teacher at Myakka River Elementary. “Participants talk to family members and neighbors and ask for donations. We do it as part of our P.E. program rather than outside pledge type of thing. Fundraising is strictly voluntary. The physical activity involves jumping and we do all sorts of aerobic activities like running. I keep it pretty relaxed. We do stations at the P.E. Class.”

Hayes has been involved with the program for nine years.    “(Cheyenne)’s grown by leaps and bounds this year helping the other students,” said Ann Brobst, fourth-grade teacher at Myakka River Elementary. “Cheyenne’s very active, an outstanding reader and very intelligent.”

Tammy Burchell, Cheyenne’s mother, said this is Cheyenne’s second time participating in the program.

“She wanted to raise a certain amount so she was very happy,” Tammy said. “This is the first time she’s been this productive. I’m not sure what she did different. I know she talked to more people.”

Burchell said Cheyenne takes after her father, Steve Burchell.

“I’m more the shy, hang-back kind of person,” Tammy said.

Cheyenne, 10, received a letter from the American Heart Association congratulating her efforts and was given recognition by the school.

“We honored her as part of the rising stars assembly on April 18,” said Sally Lutz, assistant principal at Myakka River Elementary. “It’s always an honor to see one of our students recognized for their accomplishments. It’s inspiring.”


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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