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Local Students Join First Lady To Take Aim At Jumping Jacks Record

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Hampstead Hill Academy, let's Move, White House

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BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)—A local charter school is once again being recognized for its dedication to healthy education.

Monique Griego was there as Hampstead Hill students headed to the White House.

Kids can’t always control their excitement, but for these students the frenzy is for good reason.

“Because we’re going to the White House to meet the president and Michelle Obama,” said Kevin Couser, student.

Kevin is one of 100 kids from Baltimore’s Hampstead Hill Academy, who hopped on a bus to meet the First Lady.  

“She’s trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for numbers of kids jumping jacks,” said principal Matt Hornbeck.

Hornbeck says it’s all part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, an initiative that finds innovative ways to get kids active.

 Hampstead Hill Academy students seemed to love it.

“It’s really an effort to end childhood obesity and promote healthy nutrition,” Hornbeck said.

Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the last 30 years. In Maryland, obesity impacts almost 19 percent of kids ages 6-11 and around 17 percent of kids ages 12-19.

Hampstead’s school garden is one way they’re getting kids to eat better. 

“It’s very nice,” one student said. “We get to eat healthy food.”

From “jalapenos to tomatoes, there’s a lot of healthy stuff in our garden,” said Couser.

But this isn’t the first time Hampstead’s garden and healthy eating style have had the White House calling.

In 2010, students were invited to a White House town hall meeting with Michelle Obama. And in 2009, a White House chef toured their garden.

So while the ride to the White House will be fun, students on board seem to get the main message.

“Make me be a better person, make me healthier,” said Couser.

 To set a world record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period,  more than 20,425 people from around the world must be recorded doing jumping jacks by 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

National Geographic Kids magazine is supporting the first lady’s initiative by hosting events across the country in schools, malls and other places.

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