Article, info, and text provided by Jessica Prickitt, K-4 Physical Education Specialist at the :
Linden School kindergarten through fourth grade students represented the 2011-2012 American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart theme, “It Takes Heart to be a Hero,” very well in this year’s program. And heart they had. Shattering an initial goal of $1000, together with participation from almost every class, they raised $3931.10!
Mrs. Gangemi and Mrs. Langston’s first grade class raised $1,575 alone thanks to the dedication of Kaya Hidanovic and Alexis Handy. Both girls raised most of their money online, sending e-mails and asking numerous friends and family members to help out.
Kaya had a deep connection to the cause as her mother Jen has had a heart defect since birth, which was undiagnosed until early adulthood. Kaya says that her favorite part about Jump Rope for Heart was, “I got to help hearts,” and more specifically, “that I got to save my mom’s heart.”
Jen had undergone open-heart surgery to treat two strokes that she had within a few days in her early twenties. She has since been relatively healthy. Jen says that in her home it’s important to be able to understand what it means to give back and support life-saving research such as the American Heart Association’s work.
“I'm happy my child seems to have gotten the message, and that she got so into the spirit of the AHA Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser,” Jen said. Kaya raised the most money of all Linden students, breaking the highest donation level of $1,000 by sending texts and e-mails and making phone calls to friends and family.
Students were excited to participate, and it was amazing to see the transformations as we went through the jump roping unit. Many students came in having never touched a jump roping before, and when asked at the end who thought that they got much better and feels like they are successful, almost every hand was raised proudly in the air.
We attribute that to our Linden School R.E.S.P.E.C.T. acronyms (i.e. responsibility, enthusiasm, support, perseverance, empathy, communication, teamwork) and our word of the month in physical education, "perseverance." Students were also able to connect that while jump roping, they were also helping their own hearts. So, every heart was a winner.
Jessica Prickitt, Linden School K-4 Physical Education Specialist states, “I am very proud of our accomplishment and applaud the Linden students for their effort, and thank the staff for their support.”