When Fisher Elementary kicked off its 2014 “Jump Rope for Heart” campaign in March, no one could have anticipated the extent of the community’s generosity—an incredible $14,133 in donations for heart disease research and education. As of May 8, that total is tops among 300 schools across 13 counties in Central New York.
“I still have one large school to go, but as of right now, Fisher is number one in all of Central New York,” said Megan Gibbons, Central New York Youth Director for the American Heart Association.
Physical Education teachers Tara Raux and Joe Patrei we equally surprised.
“We were shocked that people in our small community could be this generous. The kids and their families were amazing!” said Ms. Raux.
It’s about more than money
The money raised is impressive, but more important is the effect the campaign had on Fisher students.
The education component is the real focus for schools said Ms. Gibbons.
“Students receive a donation packet that they take him with information about heart attack and stroke symptoms. We tell the children, if you can’t donate, don’t worry about it. We want them to talk to their families about heart health,” she said.
The “Jump Rope for Heart” program stresses the importance of diet and exercise in a way that is fun for every student.
Ms Raux and Mr. Patrei begin by teaching basic jump roping skills in PE class. The techniques become progressively more complicated with students in the upper grades. Lessons also include discussion of making healthy eating choices.
Ms. Gibbons said the program tackles obesity at its root.