Students at Cahill and Mt. Marion Elementary Schools may not wear capes or leap tall buildings in a single bound, but they’re definitely heroes with big, healthy hearts.
Together, students from the two schools raised more than $12,000 for the American Heart Association during annual Jump Rope for Heart activities in February, smashing last year’s fundraising total by $1,000 and breaking records at both schools.
“Everybody did an awesome job,” said Cahill physical education teacher Steve Below.
Cahill has been participating in Jump Rope for Heart for 10 years and Mt. Marion has been taking part for about six years. In 2015, Cahill’s goal was $6,500 in donations, but students collected $8,574. At Mt. Marion, students easily smashed the $2,500 goal by raising $3,500.
In addition to raising money for those suffering from heart disease, the students kept their own hearts strong by spending 30 minutes hopping, bouncing, skipping, and jumping with equipment that included pogo sticks, Hula Hoops, Skip-its, Hoppity-Hops, and jump ropes. Moving to the beat of songs like Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” students in every grade got their pulses pounding by competing at Double Dutch and seeing how many Hula Hoops they could twirl at once. Members of the Cahill and Mt. Marion student councils were on hand to provide help to younger students at each activity station. After their workout, all students received a healthy snack to keep them fueled for learning.
To show their appreciation for the students’ efforts, Below, Cahill Principal Dawn Scannapieco, and Grade 4 teacher Sue Kleinke allowed the students who raised the most money in each class to Duct-tape them to the gymnasium wall and push plates of whipped cream into their faces.
And the fun didn’t end there. Kleinke’s class, which raised $1,244, will be treated to a free pizza lunch and the top five fundraising students at Cahill will enjoy lunch with Saugerties village Mayor Bill Murphy this spring. Gift certificates for Saugerties Bowlers Club, Kiwanis ice-skating rink, Bounce in Poughkeepsie, and Zoom Flume water park ensured that students will continue taking part in heart-healthy activities. Three students also received gift certificates for new athletic shoes, two from New Balance, and one from Montano’s Shoe Store in Saugerties.
Jump Rope for Heart was organized by school nurse Sherri Danza at Cahill and physical education teacher Melinda Glover at Mt. Marion.