WARREN — Students who attend Roose Elementary School recently opened their hearts to benefit the American Heart Association.
During the week of Feb. 11, the students participated in the nonprofit organization’s Jump Rope For Heart fundriaser. The mission of the AHA is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and Roose’s Jump Rope For Heart participation brought the organization one step closer toward reaching that goal.
To raise funds, the students asked their families, friends, neighbors, dentists, doctors, scout troops and fellow church members for pledges. At press time, the students raised $1,480, and — with another day and a half of fundraising still to come — more was expected. Roose is part of Center Line Public Schools. The more money the students earn, the more gym equipment the school would receive.
During Jump Rope For Heart week, the students used their physical education class with teacher Laura Phy-Daly to participate in a number of exercises designed to help keep their hearts healthy. They rotated from station to station jumping rope, doing vertical jumping exercises, practicing their chin-ups and playing on Hippity-Hop and Skip-Its toys.
“OK, put the equipment down. Rotate one station that direction,” Phy-Daly told a class of first-graders the afternoon of Feb. 13.
The event also paid tribute through an “honor wall” containing names of loved ones living with heart disease or those who passed away from it.
To get the kids pumped about Jump Rope For Heart, a kickoff assembly was held at the school Jan. 14.
“A representative from the American Heart Association came out,” Phy-Daly said. “We had a couple of jump roping contests with staff and students. The presenter talked about ways to keep their hearts healthy. We talked about it in class.”
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables and regular exercise were among the ways students learned to stay healthy. Climbing the stairs, bike riding, swimming and skateboarding are some ways to stay active.
Third-grade student Isabella Zosel raised $250 for the cause. She said using the Hippity-Hops in class was her favorite part of the fundraiser.
“Because I get to sit and bounce,” she said. She thought Jump Rope For Heart was a good idea. “People who have heart disease can die. That money is to find a cure for it.”
Fifth-grader Marcus Roosa asked his family members for donations. He also put a link on Facebook and, through his efforts, raised $160 for the AHA.
“That money will be used for the Amerian Heart Association to help with heart disease,” he said.
Roosa is doing what he can to take care of his heart.
“I eat fruits and vegetables,” he said. “I like to ride my bike outside.”
For more information on the American Heart Association and Jump Rope For Heart, visit www.heart.org.