Apalachin Elementary School students got active and celebrated an important cause during a fun ceremony on Friday, March 4th. The American Heart Association and Apalachin Elementary are working together to make whole-body wellness a priority as students participate in Kids Heart Challenge™.
At Friday morning’s ceremony, the school recognized 4th grader Lucas Jones as the top fundraiser this year. Lucas beat his goal of raising $1,000 in memory of his twin brother Jacob. Jacob passed away shortly after birth due to heart complications. During the event on Friday, Lucas’s classmates wore stickers with Jacob’s name on them to show their support.
“Lucas wants to keep his brother’s name alive,” said Jessica Jones, Lucas’s mother. “He knows Jacob is guiding and protecting him.”
Lucas raised money by making videos for family and friends and posting them to Facebook. His mom said he asks everyday about who responded to his videos. Lucas’s older brother, Kaiden, raised $1,000 for Kids Heart Challenge in Jacob’s memory back in 2018, as well. This year, the school raised a total of $11,000.
Funds raised by Kids Heart Challenge participants support the American Heart Association’s scientific research and outreach programs, paving the way for technological breakthroughs to improve health outcomes while creating healthier communities.
Kids Heart Challenge is a more than 40-year-old program that targets improving whole-body wellness. The program offers schools a curriculum which prepares kids for success by supporting their physical and emotional well-being, new learning resources and physical activities to meet the needs of today’s youth and educators.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans only 20% of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations. The Kids Heart Challenge is rooted in proven science which has shown that kids who are regularly active have a better chance of a healthy adulthood. In addition to improved physical health, the benefits of physical activity for children include better grades, school attendance and classroom behavior. Physical activity can also help kids feel better, improve mental health, build self-esteem, and decrease and prevent conditions such as anxiety and depression.