Mill Creek’s hoops help heart
MADISON – Mill Creek Elementary School students realize that heart disease is the nation’s number one cause of death, followed by stroke as fourth.
“More importantly, almost one-third of U.S. children and adolescents between two and 19 years are overweight or obese, resulting in significant health issues that can shorten life expectancy,” counselor Cindy Davis said.
Fighting these statistics, Mill Creek annually participates in Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart to help the American Heart Association (AHA). “This year, Mill Creek raised $12,426 (edging out $12,425.19 from 2012),” physical education teacher Jennifer Klein said. “Way to go, Mavericks.”
Coinciding with National Heart Month, these activities also “teach our students the importance of developing heart-healthy habits. Being physically active can be fun. Raising funds to support cardiovascular research and education helps save lives” nationwide, Davis said.
Basketball is the catalyst for Hoops for Heart, which is organized like Jump Rope for Heart. Third- through sixth-graders shot hoops, while kindergartners and first-graders jumped rope.
An AHA video “was a great tool to kickoff events,” Davis said. “It informed students of the importance of events and generated momentum to get the fundraiser underway. Mill Creek students asked questions about the video and shared personal experiences about cardiovascular health. Students then (optionally) collected pledges and donations for hoops/jumps.
Top fundraising students were kindergartner Parker Wrobel and first-grader Zada Brooks. “I give a huge shout-out to all Mill Creek students and their parents for an outstanding job,” Davis said.
Using the AHA website, more than 100 students pursued online fundraising by creating Web pages for “the safest, easiest and most effective way to raise money,” Davis said. Students selected an email template to write messages.
Other interactive tools were Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, tutorial videos and Ecard.
Since 1978, Jump Rope for Heart, along with Hoops for Heart, has raised more than $818 million for research and educational programs. Last year, AHA spent about $7.9 million on new research related to children’s heart disease.