Friday, February 15, 2013
By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School students celebrated American Heart Month by participating in the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart Program. The students learned about heart health and raised money for the American Heart Association.
During the week of Feb. 4, under the direction of Linda Magyar, Hilltop Elementary School physical education teacher, students in grades kindergarten through fourth spent their gym classes learning about the importance of heart health while having a good time jumping rope and enjoying other activities.
“Prior to the Jump Rope for Heart Program, the students watched a video about a boy who needed surgery and was helped by the American Heart Association. I think they could relate to this boy and realized they could help others like him. That’s why we participate in this program. Not to get prizes, but to help other people. I really think the students get that,” Magyar said.
Students were encouraged to wear red or a previous year’s Jump Shirt on the days they would be jumping in recognition of the many lives they would be saving.
Along with jumping rope, Magyar set up several stations for the students, including hula hoops, whiffle ball sticks, long jump rope and a mat where they could do push ups and sit ups. Music was playing to help motivate the children, and an instructional video was set up to show the children some exercise tips.
Magyar also set up a rest station the children could visit and get a drink if they got tired from all the jumping.
Last year, the students raised $7,378.84 for the American Heart Association, which was their best year. The goal for this year is $7,500.
“We receive more small donations, than large, which is really what we want. Every little bit helps and it adds up. We really appreciate everyone’s support,” Magyar said.
According to Magyar, several students made up jump rope tricks to show her during class.
“Several students made up their own tricks to show me. They wanted to show me what they came up with and what they can do. I was very impressed with what they came up with,” Magyar said.
Magyar also set up a chalkboard in the corner of the gym for students to record their personal best jumping records.
“I told them if they want me to know what their personal-best numbers of jumps was, to write their name and the number on the chalkboard so I can take a look at it and see how well they did,” Magyar said.
The children earn thank-you gifts from the American Heart Association based on how much they raised, including a super looper, a jump rope, a T-shirt and a playground ball, with the top prize being a riprider. The prizes were cumulative, so depending on how much a student raised, they received several prizes.
As an extra incentive, any student who raised a minimum of $10 will receive a free Cleveland Indians ticket.
Hilltop PTO volunteers also helped Magyar keep track of donations and tally them.