WJTV News Channel 12 - American Heart Association Honors Eastside Elementary

American Heart Association Honors Eastside Elementary

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Over the past 10 years, Eastside Elementary has raised more than $65,000 for the American Heart Association.

"Year after year, Eastside raises the bar in so many areas, especially in the Jump Rope for Heart program," said Liz Young, AHA's Youth Market Director. "Eastside PE instructors are top notch and go above and beyond to create Heart Ambassadors that really care."

Jump Rope for Heart is a national education and fundraising event that engages elementary and middle school students with jumping rope to improve their health and help other kids with heart-health issues. Among its goals are to teach children the value of community service, how to develop heart-healthy habits, be physically active and to help schools earn gift certificates for physical education equipment.

This spring, Eastside fourth-grader Leah Tucker was the No. 1 fundraiser in Mississippi for Jump Rope for Heart, and No. 3 in the Southeast region. She raised $1,378 for AHA.

Schoolwide, Young said, Eastside is ranked third in the state in this program.

"Our PE teachers, Larry Calhoun and Sheena Howard, are passionate about improving kids' health and teaching them to make healthy lifestyle choices," said Eastside Principal Cindy Hamil. "The American Heart Association has a similar mission, so it was a natural fit for our school to partner with them in this way."

Hamil said she's proud of the $65,079 her school has raised for AHA over the years, and plans to continue the partnership.

"We are appreciative of the Eastside faculty, staff and most importantly the students," Young said. "Eastside really is making an impact."

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