Mystery Panda Makes Surprise Appearance

When Porters Point School’s physical educator, Paul Pecor, learned that there was a mysterious jump-roping panda in our community—just in time to coincide with his school-wide Jump Rope for Heart initiative, he devised a clever way to coax the panda into the school.

Mr. Pecor lures the panda to PPS with a tasty snack of bamboo

Mr. Pecor lures the panda (yes, it’s really a panda—work with us here) to PPS with a tasty snack of bamboo

(Pandas love bamboo!)

Since the PPS Pandas have been participating in the national Jump Rope for Heart annual event, which not only promotes physical activity and heart-healthy living but also raises money for the American Heart Association—supporting research and public education about heart-related health—Mr. Pecor thought that the mystery panda might be able to help inspire the students. After all, the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 includes Pathway E: Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners and Pathway F: Wellness-Oriented, Balanced, and Healthy Learners.

The mystery panda—having not jumped any rope to speak of in nearly twenty-five years—was a bit rusty. Here is a brief video of the sighting.





It may come as a surprise to some, but jump roping is a competitive international sport, and there are demonstration teams all across the country and around the world. Just a few examples include the Ohio-based Comet Skippers, the Colorado-based JumpNRope, Ltd., the Washington-based Ropeworks, the Texas-based USA Jump Rope, the West Virginia–based Jump Company USA, World Jump Rope, FISAC–IRSF, and many more. There is even a jump rope demonstration team right here in Vermont … called the Vernon Tornadoes at Vernon Elementary School. In addition to all of that, jump roping—especially synchronized jump roping or collaborative jumping with multiple ropes and props—teaches clear communication, sportsmanship, excellent cooperation, trust building, and how to function as a collective unit in which every participant is vitally important. (There are some great videos on these websites if you would like to see some truly fancy footwork—footwork performed by those who do not need to be coaxed with the promise of tasty bamboo and by those who actually still actively jump on a regular basis.)

For more information, please call PPS at (802) 264-5920, or e-mail Paul Pecor at

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