The STC Elementary school cafeteria was rockin' as kids danced to the music, jumped up and down across rubber jump bands, and played a game called "Skip It". Next door in the gym students participated in an obstacle course, jumped rope individually and played "Single Dutch" with the help of some STC high school students. Jump Rope For Heart, a program of the American Heart Association took over the elementary gym and cafeteria on Friday Feb. 21 to get kids moving. This was the fifth year the STC elementary school has participated in Jump Rope for Heart. Jump Rope for Heart travels to elementary and middle schools to raise money for the AHA. This program also educates young children on the AHA mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Students and teachers raise money for the event in several ways. Numerous teachers were sporting red t-shirts they bought for $10. Students received donation packets they could take home for family, friends, and neighbors to participate with. There were also change jars set up in the elementary office. Another way money is raised is through employer matching gifts. If a student has a parent who works for a participating company, that company could match what the parents donated. In 2013 STC raised around $9,700. This year, approximately $8,500 was raised.
The funding breakdown for the donations received is as follows: 39.1% goes to public health and education, 20.8% to research, 14% for professional education and training, 13.1% to fund raising, 7.9% for management and general overhead, and 5.1% to community services.
Lon Wilkerson, STC Elementary Physical Education Teacher, believes Jump Rope For Heart is a good cause and great exercise for kids. The kids clearly had a ball this year. As the great Elle Woods said, "Exercise give you endorphins and endorphins make you happy."
According to the latest figures available from 2010, the leading cause of death in Iowa is major cardiovascular diseases. In Tama County alone, 24% of all deaths in 2010 are from cardiovascular disease. STC Elementary School Counselor Anita Townsley said, "By teaching students at an early age how important exercise is, we can hopefully drastically reduce heart disease related deaths. We want to instill in kids to make exercise a regular part of their day and that exercise can be enjoyable. It's not if I am going to exercise it's when."
No STC fundraiser is complete without a teacher kissing a pig or getting a pie in the face. The top four students who raised the most money get to put a pie in the face of not only the school principal, Jim Bugge but also assistant principal Mary Sherwood and Lon Wilkerson. However, the fun does not stop there. Bugge, Sherwood, Wilkerson and 2nd grade teacher Wyatt Bowman will be dying their hair pink for a school assembly that will take place in a couple of weeks. The assembly is a celebration of the STC Elementary fund raising accomplishments.