Healthy, happy

Oak Hill par­tic­i­pates in both AHA fundrais­ers for fifth year

The Covington News - - School Beat - By Jenny Thompson

For five years Oak Hill El­e­men­tary School has been the top fundrais­ing school in the county and for the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion’s Hoops for Heart and Jump Rope for Heart cam­paigns.

“We hope we get it again this year,” said Amanda Arena-Wil­lis, Oak Hill phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher.

This year Oak Hill stu­dents raised more than $6,000.

Arena-Wil­lis co­or­di­nated the events at Oak Hill to co­in­cide with Valen­tine’s Day be­cause of its heart theme.

She said Oak Hill is the only school in the county to par­tic­i­pate in both Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.

“Re­ally, Hoops is de­signed for mid­dle school stu­dents,” Arena-Wil­lis said.

Arena-Wil­lis called the AHA to ask ad­vice on how to adapt it for younger chil­dren.

Oak Hill par­tic­i­pates in events dur­ing half-days when par­ent-teacher con­fer­ences are sched­uled. Stu­dents who raise at least $20 can stay in the gym from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on those days. Snacks are pro­vided.

“It’s just fun,” said Pre­cious Bud­ding­ton, 10.

The Hoops pro­gram con­sists of re­lays and a pick-up game.

Dur­ing the jump rope pro­gram, stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in a tal­ent con­test with $100 in prizes avail­able for the win­ners.

“I had four peo­ple — two spin­ning the rope and two did cartwheels while I did a back hand­spring,” said McKen­zie Row­land, 8.

Levi Wil­lis, 9, won the jump rope tal­ent show for his speedy criss-crosses. He said he had a good rea­son to par­tic­i­pate.

“It’s im­por­tant to raise the money be­cause my papa had a stroke and the money goes to help peo­ple like him.”

Arena-Wil­lis said she and other teach­ers try to pro­vide the stu­dents with spe­cific ex­am­ples of why money should be col­lected for re­search on heart con­di­tions. For in­stance, a for­mer Oak Hill stu­dent who is now in mid­dle school has had mul­ti­ple open-heart surg­eries.

“We raised money for Ms. Bogle,” said Auliver Astin, 9.

Angie Bogle, book­keeper at Oak Hill, re­cently had a heart at­tack.

Kris­tian Hop­son, 9, raised the most money at Oak Hill. He raised $190.

“My neigh­bors do­nated some,” Hop­son said. “We [par­ents and I] went to their houses and asked — I asked at least nine or 10 peo­ple.”

Arena-Wil­lis said she was amazed at the money the stu­dents were able to raise. Al­though it is not as much as the school raised last year, she said she was still im­pressed with the amount col­lected in a tight econ­omy.

“I don’t do any­thing out of the or­di­nary,” Arena-Wil­lis said. “I just have a group of kids who un­der­stand the im­por­tance of giv­ing back and what a bless­ing it is not to suf­fer.”

Might as well jump:

Noth­ing but net:

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Oak Hill El­e­men­tary stu­dents McKen­zie Row­land, left, and Pre­cious Bud­ding­ton join with fel­low class­mates as they Jump Rope for Heart in the school’s gym­na­sium. Oak Hill is the only school in the dis­trict to com­pete in both Hoops and Jump Rope for Heart.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Oak Hill El­e­men­tary 3rd grader Levi Wil­lis jumps rope in the school’s gym­na­sium.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Oak Hill El­e­men­tary School fifth grader Micah Wil­liams pre­pares to shoot a bas­ket in the school’s gym­na­sium like he did dur­ing the Hoops for Heart pro­gram in Fe­bru­ary.

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