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Thursday April 21, 2016 at 1:14pm Age: 3 yrs
Category: District, Minisink Elementary


For the 17th consecutive year, Minisink Valley Elementary School is participating in National Jump Rope for Heart Week, April 11-15.  Offered by schools across America, this heart-pumping program helps raise awareness around heart health while raising funds for the American Heart Association (AHA) to advance the treatment and prevention of heart disease. 

Students take part in the event during their regularly scheduled physical education classes. Activities teach students how to care for their hearts while they experience the joy of giving back to the larger community and being a part of a nation-wide effort. 

In one of Dr. Kimiecik’s first grade physical education classes, students settled down after a series of fast-moving exercises. “Feel how fast my heart is pumping,” one student asked, and others followed.  

Mrs. Kimiecik’s took time to acknowledge the class’s fundraising progress and to remember what the money is for. Reasons named included, to help people, kids, hospitals, doctors and the American Heart Association. While discussing healthy-heart habits, several students shared about the impact of heart disease in the lives of close ones. Some pointed to the toll of smoking on the heart, and how difficult it can be to quit smoking once you pick up the habit. “Don’t learn how to smoke,” one student shouted. 

The second graders in the next period took their heart exercises very seriously. When they finally stumbled to a rest stop, they were asked to feel their heart rates on their chest, neck and wrists.  “How are we helping our heart today?” Dr. Kimiecik asked. “By exercising!” “And making our hearts beat faster!” students replied. Mrs. Kimiecik explained how exercise causes more blood and oxygen to rush through the heart and helps clean it.

The second graders’ discussion focused on heart surgery, technology and devices, such as the defibrillator kept in the hallway, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). Some students were already aware that they will learn how to perform CPR before they graduate from high school.

In 2015, the elementary school community raised $14,000, and an astonishing total of $125,000 since first joining Jump Rope for Heart in 1999.  This year’s fundraising goal is set at $8,000.

But there is more heart to the heart of this matter. Dr. K., as she is also known, has been part of every one of the 17 Jump Rope events at the elementary school. In fact, she has taught in this same gym for 30 years and seen to the heart health of the children of children who have livened the gym with their physical activity and personalities.

Funds raised by schools for the AHA through Jump Rope for Heart are used for public health education, community services, and collaborations with health care providers, professional training and scientific research. For questions about Jump Rope for the Heart at the elementary school, contact Sandy Kimiecik at 355-5270. For more information visit