The students at Lawler Elementary School were once again motivated by the school’s teachers and staff to participate and raise funds for the Hoops for Heart program, which is sponsored by the American Heart Association.
Last year’s student efforts were rewarded by the opportunity to duct tape their P. E. teacher, Marcus Whitley, who also served as the Hoops for Heart Co-coordinator, to the wall.
Janet Ray, Lawler’s Curriculum Coordinator, said of last year’s event, “The kids loved to see Coach duct taped to the wall! They duct taped me at the beginning of the year, and last year Mrs. Downs and I slept on the roof because our kids met their [accelerated reader] challenge. We love to do the extraordinary for our kids, and they definitely rise to the challenge and go beyond it.”
Students were, of course, thrilled with what the staff called an “extreme” activity, and were not disappointed this year with the new fundraising reward, which the staff hailed as an idea “beyond extreme.”
This year, students were given the opportunity to slather Ray and Whitley with ice cream sundae toppings for reaching their Hoops for Heart fundraising goals.
Approximately fifty-five students won the right to decorate the two staffers with sprinkles, whipped cream, mini-marshmallows and chocolate syrup for having brought in at least $65 in donations.
Whitley and Ray took partial cover under plastic tablecloths, but one by one, the students had the chance to douse their heads with the sticky toppings.
While these top-earners had their fun creating the ice cream sundae of every kid’s dream, the rest of the student body enjoyed cheering them on.
The Hoops for Heart challenge is not all about fun and games (and ice cream), though. According to the website for the American Heart Association’s offshoot program, it’s all about “learning heart health, playing basketball and helping kids with special hearts.”
The donations raised by students at LES and other schools across the country go toward the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, a group “devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke.”
The dollars go toward the funding of innovative research, fighting for stronger public health policies and providing “lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases.”
The group is currently working hard toward its goal to “improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent, all by the year 2020.”
This goal, of course, is a lofty one, and in order to achieve it, the AHA and ASA are branching out and working on a number of projects like the Hoops for Heart events in schools, where they can try to stop future problems before they start.