Our students are jumping into a cause with both feet!
That’s because Hillsborough County Public School students are partnering once again with the American Heart Association (AHA) to raise funds and awareness to save lives through the Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart program. The program is more successful this year than in year’s past!
"We expect to exceed our support this year by 25 percent (of the original goal of $325K). This means our students are impacting the health and wellness of our community," said Van Ayres, Deputy Superintendent of Hillsborough Schools.
This campaign, which was organized by the School District's Outreach and School Improvement Division, is also a service learning project that supports a healthier, stronger community.
The Outreach and School Improvement Division cultivates meaningful partnerships that are responsive to the unique needs of our students, families, and schools. Hillsborough Schools is only one of several districts in the country that has a groundbreaking partnership with the AHA. The AHA is written into the district’s strategic plan and falls into the service learning pillar of their eight-pillar model of building strong school culture.
"We continue to build on the strong school culture model throughout the District and identifying and sharing information with community stakeholders and student families in many ways," said Marylou Whaley, the director of Community Engagement, Outreach & Philanthropy.
Recognizing that students are key in creating a healthy community, the School Board adopted a local policy last year that every high school student is expected to learn CPR before graduation. This will mean approximately 13,000 potential life savers throughout the Tampa Bay area.
More than 70,740 local students have participated in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart since the partnership first started. Superintendent Jeff Eakins has set a goal of 100 percent school participation by the end of this year.
“There is a huge collective impact when student service-learning projects like AHA programming and CPR training are used to support a healthier, stronger quality of life,” Eakins said.
AHA is one of the many organizations collaborating with the district; others include: American Cancer Society (Relay for Life), March of Dimes, Special Olympics, United Way, United Negro College Fund, and Hillsborough Education Foundation.