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Chief Kamiakin Elementary students raise money for American Heart Association

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Chief Kamiakin Elementary School fourth graders Mario Camacho and Adrian Campos (right) jump rope in the school's jumprope for heart event last Thursday. The event was the culmination of efforts to raise money for the American Heart Association.

Students at Chief Kamiakin Elementary School recently gathered money to support efforts of the American Heart Association.

The students, in an effort to raise awareness of heart disease, began collecting donations approximately one month ago. The donations were turned in last Thursday, and the school capped off its fundraising efforts with a jumprope for heart event.

Physical education teacher Dana Dalton and health and physical education teacher Brad Fahlenkamp educated the students about the significance of a healthy lifestyle during the campaign.

"To promote awareness and to make the experience more realistic to the students, we had them write the name of someone they know who has heart disease or who has died from it on a heart," shared Dalton.

Those hearts were adhered to a bigger heart inside the Chief Kamiakin gym for all to see.

The students, in Fahlenkamp's health class, learned the importance of good nutrition. Dalton said the teacher shared snack ideas, such as fruits, vegetables and dairy products with the students.

"They have learned the size of their heart and where it is located...the older students also learned about veins and arteries," she said.

Students were also taught exercise will reduce a person's risk of heart disease.

The fundraising process involved students collecting change and other money from family and friends.

Dalton explained, "We made it very clear they were not to visit just any house without a parent or another trusted adult...to be safe."

The collections turned in last Thursday have yet to be counted, but the teacher said, "There looks to be thousands of dollars to be tallied."

To make the experience more fun for the students, the American Heart Association provided prizes for the students. The prizes are to be awarded according to the amount raised by each student. For example, a student who raised between $15 and $29.99 will receive a jump rope and another gift. A splash rocket and seven other gifts will be awarded to students who have raised between $300 and $499.99.

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