In an effort to jumpstart their enthusiasm for the school day -- and to add a little exercise to their daily routines -- students at Holland Hill School have found the Jump Rope Club makes it fun to hit the ground running ... rather, jumping.

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, students gather in the gym about 15 minutes before classes start for the activity.

"Kids are so enthusiastic about it, and I feel like each week more and more kids show up," said Nancy Antrobus, one of the parent volunteers who works with the club.

The program is the brainchild of the school's Wellness Committee, and has been going on for several years now.

"I can jump rope with my friends (and) we can talk about things while we jump rope," said Maddie Valentino, 9. "And we can help each other if we need help."

"It's definitely a great way to get kids moving before school," said Laura Cretella, Holland Hill's new principal. "It start their day off on a positive note."

Nearly 30 youngsters showed up Tuesday and quickly got in the swing of things, beginning at 7:45. Jump ropes are available for those who want to jump solo, while parent volunteers helped spin the rope for others.

"It's fun," said Phoebe Shostak, 7. "Friends come from your class sometimes."

"We really have good attendance," said parent Tracie Haner Valentino. "And the teachers in the past have said the kids come in with a little more energy."

Antrobus noted that students take "personal pride" in their jumping achievements, as well as their progress. "And they pull out tricks," she said. "It's hilarious."

"I always leave with a smile on my face," said Valentino. "It's a good way for me to start my day too."

Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.