Each year more than 7 million elementary and middle school students across the United States participate in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart campaign. This year, for the first time, students at Eastside Elementary were a part of that statistic.
Dozens of students from Eastside, under the supervision of physical education teacher Amanda Brown, took part in the fundraising program that encourages students to improve their health and help other kids with heart-healthy issues. By participating, students are given the opportunity to contribute to the fight against heart disease and stroke by raising money for research and education.
Eastside students have just recently completed their program and raised $739.20, nearly tripling their stated goal of $250.
In participating in Jump Rope For Heart, Eastside students and teachers received donations for the American Heart Association by jumping rope. Some donations were achieved on behalf of students that were personally affected by heart disorders. One student, Makenzie Finley, raised $100 in honor of her brother Cayden, who has severe heart problems. Finley wasn’t the only student personally affected; several teachers and students raised funds in honor of another student who was born with a hole in her heart. Another student, who participated in the program, actually recently underwent open-heart surgery.
Brown started the Jump Rope For Heart program at Eastside this year and it really took off when she received 200 jump ropes through donations from the fundraising website donorschoose.org. The response to the campaign from the student body was overwhelming.
“Our students love jump roping and have been a true blessing to many others through this campaign,” Brown said. “It is amazing when I think of our students love and compassion for others. They definitely exceeded all expectations and got very involved in Jump Rope for Heart.”
Another key component of Jump Rope For Heart is that it provides educational opportunities for students. They are presented with materials and lessons that focus on heart disease and stroke related issues such as heart attack and stroke warning signs, the importance of physical activity, and an anti-tobacco message.
“This was a meaningful opportunity for our students to learn and help others,” Brown says. “They learned more about their hearts and how to keep them healthy. This increases much needed awareness about how prevalent heart disease is in our community, and indeed a majority of our students knew someone affected.”
Brown added that she intends to continue this program for years to come.