Forest Park, IL...
Students at Proviso Math and Science Academy were moving and getting their hearts racing during their physical education class on Friday, February 1.
However, rather than seeing just the benefits of fitness, the students also helped raise more than $1,600 for the American Heart Association as part of its Jump Rope for Heart Competition. Held every two years at PMSA, the contest was a way for students to work on their own fitness and help fight heart disease while having some fun in the process.
"We want to bring awareness to heart disease," said Ms. Tracy McCormick, chairperson of the wellness department at PMSA. "We’re making it fun for the kids."
The students participated by jumping from station to station, racing on bouncy balls, jumping rope, and hopping in races. Some were successful, managing to navigate the entire track without falling. Others had to work harder to remain on their feet. Ms. McCormick said that the key was to keep moving.
"You can do any event as long as it’s jumping," she said.
Ms. Kim Echols, principal at PMSA, said that she was proud to see the entire school community participate in the competition.
"This is the kind of activity that encourages and promotes incorporating exercise into daily activities," she said. "At PMSA we want to raise the awareness level of obesity in America and teach our students the lifelong benefits that exercise can play into their daily lives."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of District 209, said that the fundraiser was a good way to get students moving.
"With childhood obesity and heart disease being recognized as major health problems, it is good to see students not only learning about those issues, but doing something," she said. "We need to take advantage of these learning situations to continue raising awareness of this issue."
Ms. McCormick said that the top seven fundraisers among boys and top seven fundraisers among girls each received a pizza party as a reward. The top earners among the girls were the following: Allison Ernst ($245), Rebecca Sasso ($155), Jasmine Tramil ($135), Victoria Mota ($41), Lauron Crumpton ($40), Yasmin Cruez ($31), and Jazmin Martinez ($29). The top fundraisers among the boys were the following: Alex Aguiluz ($175), Jalen Blue ($135), Jalen Knox ($75), Brandon Jones ($55), Earl Bonick ($25), Ryan Hegarty ($25), and Erik Rodriguez ($25).
Allison, 18 and a senior at PMSA, said that she has made it a point to help with fundraisers since middle school. The Jump for Heart fundraiser resonated with her since her grandfather passed away after a heart attack.
"I love helping out for a good cause," she said. "The motivation is to be able to help someone."