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Raising more than $17,000 for American Heart Association

Principal with studentsSmallwood Drive Elementary students and staff raised $17, 286.81 to contribute to the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser. Three students were recognized for being the top fundraisers. The brother-sister team of fifth-grader Chloe K. and second-grader Jack K. raised $1,004.58 and kindergartener Charlotte T. raised $463.

Pictured is Mr. Cozier with the students and Tara Franklin, Youth Market Director of the American Heart Association.

The Kids Heart Challenge is a community service learning project where students learn the importance of taking care of their own hearts and helping others while earning fun surprises. During January and February, students learned different ways to keep their hearts active, how a heart works and raised money to help kids with special hearts.

“Some of the money raised will come back to school and support the physical education and wellness program,” said Jennifer Higgins, Wellness and Physical Education Teacher at Smallwood Drive.

The American Heart Association has a new twist with an additional activity called the Principal’s Challenge. Principal Rich Crozier accepted the Principal's Challenge to BE KIND and over half of the schools’ students took the challenge. As a result, the American Heart Association will donate an additional $500 to the school to update the recess carts.

Mrs. Higgins established a partnership with the American Heart Association years ago. A key component is a curriculum integration where students in first- and second-grade learn about the heart in wellness class as part of the muscles of the human body unit. Third- to fifth-graders participate in a health related fitness unit where cardiovascular endurance is a key focus. Students learn all about the heart, how it works and how to keep it healthy.