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posted: Sun, Jan 18th, 2015
Olivia Spokane makes a heart in the school gym

Jumping Rope For Heart

Wednesdays in January are Duck Days at Sandshore! That’s when physical education teacher Kit Thompson gives out the duck collectibles to students in grades 1-5 who hit major contribution milestones in Jump Rope For Heart. The annual fund drive, now in its 37th year nationwide, raises money for the American Heart Association (AHA).

The actual rope jumping event is January 28 but Jump Rope For Heart isn’t just about collecting money – Kit Thompson and phys ed teacher Shawn Buck make sure there are lessons about heart health and healthy lifestyle choices. It’s part of the Sandshore physical education curriculum at every grade level.

"Almost everyone has been touched by stroke or heart attack in some way," Ms. Thompson said. “If you start kids off at this young age thinking about developing healthy eating and exercise habits, it can change their lifelong health. And rope jumping is a great activity. Research has shown that children ages 5– 11 need weight bearing exercises like rope jumping to build up their 'bone bank'.  It helps to prevent osteoporosis later in life.”

Olivia Spokane, a third-grader in Darcy McHale’s class, knows what it's like to see a family member affected by cardiovascular disease.

“The reason I’m raising my money is that my dad had a heart attack,” Olivia said. “It is so sad to see someone in a hospital bed. No one should have to go through that.”

Students who raise more than $50 will be entered to win the school’s grand prize: an autographed Play 60 jersey signed by Kyle Wilson, a New York Jets cornerback and Piscataway native. Play 60 is the National Football League's campaign to encourage kids to be active for 60 minutes a day in order to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

Last year Sandshore raised more than $6,400 for the AHA through Jump Rope For Heart.

 

Heart Disease Facts

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2009 were in men.1 

  • About 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

  • Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing more than 385,000 people annually.

  • In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. Each minute, someone in the United States dies from a heart disease-related event.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders and American Indians or Alaska Natives, heart disease is second only to cancer. 

  • Coronary heart disease alone costs the United States $108.9 billion each year.4 This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

Risk Factors

High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key heart disease risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.

Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:

  • Diabetes

  • Overweight and obesity

  • Poor diet

  • Physical inactivity

  • Excessive alcohol use 

[Source: Centers For Disease Control And Prevention]

The grand prize: a jersey signed by Kyle Wilson
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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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Phone: 973.691.4003 Fax: 973.691.4027

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