Raising Heart Rates and Dollars

Throughout the month of March St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School students rallied to raise money for heart disease research and education through the American Heart Association’s Annual Jump Rope for Heart campaign. Their efforts yielded nearly $10,000 in vital funds for the organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke, our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers.

Each student asked family, friends, neighbors, and community members to pledge donations based on their participation in a special day of skipping rope at school.  The event empowered them to improve their own health all while helping other kids with heart-health issues. 

“Jump Rope for Heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the body and shows them that volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community,” said Physical Education Teacher, Debbie Handy.  “Our goal is to significantly contribute to the prevention of heart disease and obesity for the next generation of Americans.”

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. By including physical activity in their daily routines, kids can significantly reduce the onset and burden of heart disease and other health issues related to obesity.

St. Francis students enjoyed each phase of the program, from the heart-healthy curriculum teachers used leading up to the event, to learning the value of Christian service and contributing to their community's welfare, and the culminating day of outdoor play and exercise.  All were proud of their efforts.  Siblings, Addison and Alicia, tied for the title of top fundraiser, both contributing $797 to the school-wide effort.  They were presented with a medal for their hard work at last Friday morning's Community Prayer Service.

For over 32 years, Jump Rope for Heart has raised more than $810 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke. Millions of students have learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke.  For more information on the program visit americanheart.org/jump.