Students at Jackson Elementary School jumped at the chance to fight heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. During the month of February, students hosted their annual Kids Heart Challenge event to raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs.
This event teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and shows them that volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community. The need to educate children about the importance of physical activity couldn’t be timelier. According to recent studies, about one-third of children ages 2 to 19 are overweight and obese.
“This is my favorite time of the school year,” said Jackson Physical Education teacher Tana Bamber. “My students love jumping rope and learning about how physical fitness can keep their hearts healthy. We had many families come in and participate in a “Heart Party” for kindergarteners during Physical Education class. It was fun to see parents and grandparents jumping rope with the students.”
Apart from the health benefits, students also gained knowledge in community service by raising money. This was Bamber’s second year running the event. “Jackson students raised $6,965 for the American Heart Association. “This event would not be so successful if it wasn’t for the combined efforts and generosity of the jumpers, parents, and teachers. I am so proud of all of our students for being heart heroes,” she said.