January 25, 2013


Hula hoop girls come through for Hartnett

Donate custom-made hoops to school

HulaJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Hartnett Elementary sixth-grader Ciera Inman hula hoops Thursday after 22 custom made hula-hoops were donated by classmates to their school Thursday.

Living and Leisure Editor

TRUXTON — Rachel Sahm, Shenequa Perry and Pepper Burda have a new nickname. They are the “hula hoop girls.”
The sixth-graders didn’t like the beat up hoops at Hartnett Elementary School and decided they’d custom design their own — and donate them to the school.
“I think that by doing this, we will inspire other people to do things. Hopefully, it will help people in doing acts of kindness,” said Shenequa, 12, at Thursday’s morning program at the school.
The girls presented their 22 hand made hoops, each individually decorated with fancy duct tape, and the kids, kindergartners through sixth grade, got to try them out.
“I think it’s really generous and kind of them,” said Ciera Inman, 11, a classmate of the girls. “I think they are important because they give kids exercise and they don’t just sit there and watch TV.”
The girls used their Christmas present savings and donations from their parents for the project, said Allison Mastroe, the girls’ social studies teacher.
Priscilla Young, mother of Shenequa, estimated it cost $4 a hoop. Shenequa’s dad, Wayne Perry of Truxton, selected the materials: sap and electrical piping, and helped the girls put them together. “I was the fix it person,” he said.
“We have been doing a lot of research in charity organizations,” Mastroe told the assembly. “We are doing it on a global scale, looking at the whole world ... These girls were inspired to help locally,” she said . “They were looking around (and saw) the hula hoops were kind of in rough shape. They had a lot of dents and cracks,” she said. “They put their heads together and said, ‘what could we do, just the three of us, to make a difference in school?’” she told the assembly.
The girls used five specialized duct tape rolls and 12 electrical tapes to decorate the hoops. “Some have beads in them,” said Pepper. “And it makes the noise,” said Shenequa. “Some have a little water,” said Pepper. “It makes them hum.”
“We finally found a use for those stupid little jewelry pieces,” said Wayne Perry.
“Every single hula hoop has HHG 2013 on them,” said Pepper. HHG is for Hula Hoop Girls, she said.
“We started doing it and it was pretty easy,” said Rachel.” It’s better to work with friends ... It took us two and a half hours to make the hula hoops. We didn’t stop,” she said.
The girls have one especially cool hula hoop in the mix — green on the outside and zebra on the inside, said Pepper. It’s the only one the three girls worked on together. “And it makes the noise,” said Shenequa.


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