Exercise really can be fun, especially when it's for all the right reasons.

Just ask elementary students in the Palmerton Area School District, who wrapped up a weeklong fundraiser on Friday.

That's because the students at S.S. Palmer Elementary and Parkside Education Center participated in their annual Jump Rope for Heart program.

Jump Rope For Heart is a national fundraising program that promotes physical activity, heart healthy living and community service to children.

As it neared its final phase, Ryan Heller, physical education instructor, estimated the event had raised about $7,000 of the $10,000 goal it set out to achieve.

"We're seeing more people who actually raise money; it's just less money per person," Heller said. "It shows more people are buying into it."

Fifth-grader Alex Sikorsky was able to speak a few words as he feverishly hopped up and down on his pogo stick.

"It helps raise money for the association, and we can have fun" Alex said. "I like the pogo stick because it goes up and down, and it's exercise."

Sixth-grader Caleb Hollenbach took a moment to talk after he completed the standing long jump.

"It's fun," Caleb said. "I like the pogo stick."

Heller noted that records were broken at the pogo stick, longest hop, and standing long jump stations.

With almost 30,000 jumps, sixth grader Kyle Kralik upended the prior mark in the pogo stick; third-grader Kody Kratzer did 509 consecutive hops on one foot to break the previous best in the longest hop; and sixth-grader Brianna Brennan jumped 7-feet, 3-inches, to break the mark in the standing long jump.

Among the other stations Heller said students participated in to raise money were the limbo/long rope, and 60-second jumping jacks.

"It differs per grade," said Heller, with regard to the stations. "It gives them a greater perspective on other peoples needs."

Heller said about $8,600 was raised through the program last year.