Once again, it’s time to Jump4Jerry.

On October 14, the Jersey City nonprofit youth mentoring program will sponsor its sixth annual Prince Jerry Day Double Dutch Competition.

The organization, founded by Kim Prince-Sylla in memory of her son Jerry after the 8-year-old was killed after being struck by a car at Columbus Drive and Grove Street in October 2017.

Despite his youth and shy nature, Jerry found a release through athletic competition, reflected in his achievements as a champion Double Dutch jumper, highlighted by a performance on the Jimmy Fallon TV show.

As a way to pay tribute to Jerry’s dedication to a sport he loved and, in turn, to inspire community peers to tap into and exploit the full measure of their talents, Kim developed Jump 4 Jerry in 2018.

“Our mission is to honor Jerry by enabling children of different ages and backgrounds to acquire life skills, build confidence and strong character and to realize their potential as leaders and active members of their community,” Kim explained.

Teaching and coaching Double Dutch, Kim added, is used as a springboard to help youngsters and teens “build a healthy lifestyle” by improving their cardio vascular conditioning and healthy eating habits.

And, through the sport itself, kids can learn skills like enhanced coordination, building stamina and improved concentration, along with teamwork, sportsmanship, making friends and building social skills, Kim said.

The nonprofit also sponsors other efforts, she said, such as reading enrichment and community givebacks.

Double-Dutch instruction classes are provided at the Jeremiah Grant Community Center, 201 Monticello Ave.

This year’s competition will feature Jersey City youngsters from age 5 and up from the city’s public schools pitted against their peers from other Garden State locales, New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.

There may also be entries from either Philadelphia or Chicago, Kim noted.

Jersey City’s public schools have no organized Double Dutch teams, according to Kim, who teaches second grade at Beloved Charter School. Aside from the coaching she offers through Jump4Jerry, she does run some after-school programs, though.

As usual, spectators at the competition can expect live music, raffles and giveaways. Concessions will be available and vendors are wanted. For information, email jump4jerry@gmail.com.

There will also be “surprise jump-offs” by community leaders such as Jersey City mayoral aide Jonathan Gomez Noriega, Olympic swimmer and co-founder of the Flor de Mayo Foundation; and Lincoln High School Principal Chris Gadsden.

Competition judges are from the American Double Dutch League which is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. 

Attendees should be prepared for two new wrinkles for this year’s event – the Jersey City Armory, 678 Montgomery St., is the host arena and there’ll be a $5 spectator fee but free admission for kids.

The hope is that the admission fees collected will help allow the group to subsidize sponsorship fees for the program rather than rely on outside donors, Kim said.

The competition at the Armory gets underway at 11 a.m.

For more information about the nonprofit programs, email jump4jerry@gmail.com.

Ron Leir has been a journalist since 1972. That includes a 37-year stint as a reporter, copy reader and assistant editor with The Jersey Journal, followed by a decade as a reporter with The Observer in...