Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Two Hilltop Elementary School first-graders took their turn jumping over the ‘mat mountain’ during the school’s annual American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 6.
Neighbors | Abby Slanker.A Hilltop Elementary School first-grade student showed his strength as he tried out the pull up bar during the school’s annual American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 6.
Neighbors | Abby Slanker.A Hilltop Elementary School first-grade student showed off his hula hooping skills during the school’s annual American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 6.
Neighbors | Abby Slanker.A first-grade Hilltop Elementary School student jumped high into the air while long rope jumping at the school’s annual American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 6.
By ABBY SLANKER
Hilltop Elementary School students participated in the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge, formerly Jump Rope for Heart, by jumping rope and participating in other physical activities during their scheduled gym classes the week of Feb. 4-8. While the students were being physically active, they were also raising money for the American Heart Association.
Throughout the week, under the direction of Linda Magyar, Hilltop Elementary School physical education teacher, students in grades kindergarten through fourth learned about the importance of heart health while having a good time jumping rope and enjoying other activities, such as hula hooping, hula hoop jumping, long jumping, vertical jumping, hopscotch, pull ups, long rope jumping, using steps and jumping over a ‘mat mountain.’
Magyar set up several stations for the activities and the students rotated around the gym. Music was also playing to help motivate the children. Magyar set up a rest station the children could visit and get a drink if they need a little rest from all the jumping and physical activity.
Magyar said the children know they are doing a good thing for people who need help.
“They know they are doing a good thing and helping people. They want to be a heart hero. Many of them are jumping for someone in their family and they know heart problems may run in their family. They can also relate to the children who need help. There is one boy’s story on the pledge form, and the children can relate to him. They want to help him. The money we raise for the American Heart Association will help with research and getting medicine to people in need,” Magyar said.
Magyar also said the children are jumping for their own hearts.
“They are jumping for their own hearts, too. They are jumping to help other people and themselves. The more physical activity they do as children, the more they will do as adults. You can always jump when you’re older,” Magyar said.
With a theme of Join our Heart Heroes, the children earned thank-you gifts from the American Heart Association based on how much they raised, including a jump rope, a T-shirt, a basketball, a dancing ball and a slime ball, with the top prize being wireless headphones. The prizes were cumulative, so depending on how much a student raised, they could receive several prizes.
Several Hilltop PTA volunteers were on hand every day to help with the event.