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From Dublin City Schools

    Britney Junior speaks softly, but carries a big heart...and a jump rope.

    When the latter two are combined, the results speak more clearly and loudly and about Junior’s character than the sentence of two Junior is likely to say about her achievements.

For the second straight year, Junior helped raise more than $1,000 for the school-level American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart campaign.

“In my 27 years of teaching and doing Jump Rope for Heart, I’ve only had two who have

raised $1,000,” said coach Bonnie Griggs, “and she is one of them.”

    The annual school fundraiser helps to raise money and awareness in the fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke.

    The issue was important enough to Junior that chose to forego participating in a local pageant so she could focus on raising money for the Jump Rope for Heart campaign.

    “She’s been jumping rope since she was about four,” said mom Carolyn. “At one time she thought she was interested in jump rope but then thought she wanted to be a cheerleader.”

    “I’m hoping she’ll try basketball when moves on to middle school next year,” Griggs added, begrudgingly acknowledging she’ll be losing her top fundraiser two years running in the process.

    “I’ve already warned my American Heart Association rep that we’re losing one of our best,” Griggs said.

    The school raised more than $2,000 last year: half of that coming from Junior’s efforts. And this year, the school doubled that total to more than $4,000. Along with Junior’s $1,000 fundraising, ShelbyAnn Thraser and India Newton came in at second and third, with more than $415 and $250, respectively.

    “I just went around and asked people if they would help,” said Junior, who had people give either a flat donation or a per-jump contribution based on the number of times she was able to jump rope over a fixed time period.

    “Her daddy helped out, too,” Carolyn said. “He works at YKK, so he took the form there and asked folks if they wanted to help out.”

    “A lot of people would give only like $5 or $10, but it all added up quickly,” Griggs said.

    It also added up to a laundry list of prizes for Junior.

One after the other, the prizes kept coming.

    A Super Pup and Lanyard. A jumprope. Two more pups to hang on the lanyard. A T-shirt. A soccer ball. Another two pups to hang on the lanyard. Headphones. A pogo jumper. And, to top it all off, an Android tablet.

    When asked what she thought of all the prizes, true to form, Junior only managed a “Good” and toothless smile before Griggs hugged her neck and elicited a more relaxed reaction from the fifth grader.

    “We’re the leadership school,” Griggs said, “and Britney has proven through her actions that she’s ready to be a leader and serve our community. She’s the example I use any time I talk about what we want to do at our school, or with Jump Rope for Heart.”

    “I’m just glad to help,” Junior said.

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