North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Jun 29
Ridgeway’s Jump Club

​By Janae Chiu, Teacher, Ridgeway Elementary and Lisa Dalla Vecchia, Communications Manager

Jump Club has been at Ridgeway for many, many years!

First started by Education Assistant Jean Brewer at Queen Mary Elementary, as a way to provide students with an activity over the lunch hour, it was actually Jean’s mom who started it at Ridgeway Elementary. When Jean transferred to Ridgeway, she joined forces with her mom. When her mom retired, Jean continued to run Jump Club.

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There are many benefits to students’ participation. Jump Club helps build confidence, is great for physical and mental health, is a fun way to make friends, and empowers students as they teach others the different levels and new tricks. According to Jean, students are encouraged to practice, keep trying and not to give up.

After so many years running Jump Club, Jean has kept it fresh by introducing levels (novice, advanced, excellence). There are over 40 levels (!), and at each level, students can earn personalized ribbons.

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Once students reach the excellence level, they need to show and teach others a 3-minute routine. Once they have accomplished this, they are awarded a personalized t-shirt, which Jean makes herself with her Cricut machine.

“Students absolutely love Jump Club,” said Janae Chiu. “It is common to see students beaming when they talk about what skills or techniques they have learned on any given day.”

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While Jean runs the club on her own, she is trying to find someone to continue running it. Jean is retiring from the school district this year, after 25 years of service (over 19 of those years were spent at Ridgeway).

Janae, who has worked with Jean for many years, shared a bit about what makes Jean such an important part of the Ridgeway community:

“Jean puts her heart and soul into everything she does for students and staff, and has a natural ability to make kids feel at ease. Before Ridgeway’s renovation, the school had a basement common area. During inside rainy days, Jean would set up games for kids to play. She would run paper airplane contests. She even had a treasure box, and if someone landed their plane in the box, they could pick a prize. So much of what she does is centred on ensuring students are learning and having fun together. Students respect and appreciate her – we all do.”

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Special note: On Friday, June 17, Ridgeway students and staff held a surprise “Jump for Jean” day. Classes signed up for 15-minute time slots to enjoy skipping outside. Students were also asked to donate a toonie, which was put toward OWL Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, in Jean’s honour. Jean is a huge animal lover, and this was one way for the Ridgeway community to thank someone who has done so much for students and staff.

Well done, Ridgeway, and congratulations, Jean!

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