Chelsea Intermediate School students placed fifth in the nation and second in the Midwest Region after collecting $43,160 in donations for the American Heart Association during “Jump Rope for Heart.” They were competing against 27,629 participating schools. The students created websites for online donations and jumped rope during their physical education classes with many parents volunteering to help. The third through fifth grade students jumped in honor or memory of a friend or loved one. The event meshes with the District 157-C Character Counts character education program.
The students are asked to obtain donations for their involvement in “Jump Rope for Heart.” The money that they raise benefits lifesaving research on heart and blood vessel diseases including stroke. The children can earn thank-you gifts based on how much they raise and the school receives gift certificates from U.S. Games that can be redeemed for physical education and recess equipment.
Brian Shields, Regional Vice President Youth Market, and Haydee Gonzalez, Youth Market Director of the American Heart Association came to the school to present the national award. Accepting the award on behalf of the school were the top earners in fourth and fifth grade, physical education teachers Kay Elam, Randy Klosowski and Ryan Talaga, Assistant Principal Dan Prorok and Principal Kristin Simpkins. Students included Nicholas Signore ($2,075), Daniel Herlihy ($630), Kayleigh Heffelmire ($535), Emily Spencer ($518), Paige Spriesch ($460), Faith Roughsedge ($431), Luke Pomes ($360), Mitchell Ruminski ($320), Ryan Farmer ($307), Lauren Dauber ($300) and (not pictured) Joseph Brueck ($300). During the award presentation, Principal Kristin Simpkins commended the students, stating, “This shows you what good citizenship is all about and you do a fantastic job!”
Students at all three District 157-C schools participate in the “Jump Rope for Heart” program. Hickory Creek Middle School students also participate in “Hoops for Heart.” These events not only teach about the importance of a healthy lifestyle but they also demonstrate to the children that they can be empowered to provide vital community service and make a difference. At the same time, students enjoy getting into the spirit of these fun-filled events.
Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hurlburt stated, “We commend the students and staff for this accomplishment. The program is a beneficial one as it stresses the importance of a healthy lifestyle while also funding important heart research. Thank you to our school families and the community for being extremely generous in supporting the children throughout this effort.”