East Side Elementary kicks off Jump Rope for Heart campaign

Published 10:15 am Thursday, January 22, 2015

NW0122 Jump Rope for Heart A

Jumping rope is a classic part of childhood, a great exercise and a fun way to raise money for heart disease research and prevention.
Students at East Side Elementary kicked off their annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraising campaign Wednesday afternoon. The students at the school will have from now until March 5 to reach their goal of $2,500 for the American Heart Association.
Jump Rope for Heart is held each year in many elementary schools in or near February, which is Heart Health Awareness Month, Haley Allen, youth marketing director for the Northeast Region of the American Red Cross, said.
Students will collect donations in the community and earn prizes for each fundraising level they achieve. The entire student body works together to reach the school-level goal of $2,500.
Of the money collected through the Jump Rope for Heart, Allen said 80 percent goes toward research and heart disease awareness causes.
“We set a higher goal last year, and they made it,” said Nicole Horne, East Side physical education teacher. “The students get really excited about it and look forward to it each year.”
This year, Horne and Allen will have some special helpers spreading the word about heart health. A line-up of small rubber ducks, called “Wacky Lifesaver Ducks,” have been added to the Jump Rope for Heart team.
“We started with the ducks last year as special prizes,” Allen said. “The students went crazy for them, so we took them a step further.”
Each of the ducks now have their own theme to share healthy-living tips with the students. For example, one duck is covered in color splashes. Allen said this is to make a connection to colorful fruits and vegetables that should be a part of each student’s diet. One is a glow-in-the-dark duck that duck represents the importance of sleep and healthy skin, “because he glows.”
Other ducks have themes of no smoking, drinking enough water, exercise and limiting salt intake.
The students will be rewarded with a jump rope event at the end of the campaign on March 5. Allen said the final event is handled differently now than what it was in the past.
“The students do not have to raise money to participate,” she said. “Before they had to do that, but we decided that goes against what our mission to get the students active. Every student has the opportunity to participate and every student has the opportunity to be a part of the fundraiser.”

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