Baldwin Elementary gets heart healthy

BALDWIN — Baldwin Elementary students are once again taking part in the Heart Heroes program, a school-wide initiative which encourages students to improve not only their own health, but the health of their entire community.

This is the third year the school district has taken art in the program. Kids in grades kindergarten through grade six spend the week learning about living healthy, how to encourage healthy living among their families and friends and how to generate support for organizations which aim to help others promote positive lifestyles.

"I'm proud to say the kids are doing well," explained gym teacher Dan Bullock. "We're trying to teach three main lessons with this program. We want the kids to learn how the heart works and how to take care of it, how to have fun exercising, and how to make a difference in their community. We do that third thing by having the kids raise money for the American Heart Association."

During the first two years of the program, more than $4,000 was raised by the students.

"We've all been very pleased with what the students have accomplished," remarked Bullock. "More than $4,000 was very good for such a small school. We really want to stress how they help other people."

In school, students receive lessons and perform activities such as jumping rope, playing basketball and hoola-hooping. They take part in friendly competitions and compete for prizes and awards. The program is built to instill positive lessons about heart health in a fun and easy to digest manner. Bullock said exercise has to become part of their daily routine, like brushing their teeth. He said the kids need to learn not only how crucial it is to take care of your body, but what the best ways are to do so.

"It takes heart to be a hero and we need to work to take care of our hearts," said Bullock. "That's the lesson we hope the kids take away from this."