(January 20, 2023) Worcester County elementary and middle school students participate in the American Heart Association (AHA) Kid’s Heart Challenge.
Each year, the program teaches students techniques to reduce stress and other ways to care for the mind.
Many people sign up for two online lessons to participate in the Finn’s Heart Challenge.
The school also raises funds for the AHA to help doctors, researchers, hospitals and families suffering from heart disease. Last year, Showell Elementary raised her $18,000. Principal Ryan Cowder said he expects to raise $20,000 this year.
“Showell is always looking for ways to give back,” he said.
Ocean City Elementary is also stepping up its fundraising goals.
“Over the last 33 years, our students have raised over $477,000,” said gym teacher Tracy Drosera. “Our goal is to raise $25,000 this year to reach $500,000 in donations.”
Showell Elementary has set a goal that 100% of students enrolling in the challenge will be more positive or helpful. To get them excited, Crowder hosted his January 12 rally to talk about how to keep your heart healthy. As a special incentive, if at least his 50% of them signed up, he would pick a representative from each grade and promised to string him ridiculously in the hallway.
At Ocean City Elementary School, Principal Julie Smith also encouraged students to try heart health issues.
This year, Drocella and gym teacher Mark Engle are sweetening the OCES pot by offering a double challenge. If her 50% of the students participate in the Finn’s Heart Challenge, the participants slime her two PE teachers. And if OCES hits its fundraising goal, the top fundraiser in each grade can throw ice water on teachers this spring.
“I love children!” said Drosera. “It’s all about making them understand the importance of helping others. Our students are always trying to find different ways to help people.”
She said the AHA has made it easier for students and families to raise funds, from door-to-door fundraising to soliciting donations on social media.