Thursday, January 16, 2014

Event adapts shooting hoops and jumping rope for the blind

According to the American Heart Association, more than 2,200 Americans die each day of heart disease. That’s an average of one death every 39 seconds. Concurrently, 61 percent of America’s youth are inactive and in danger of developing significant health issues and shortened life spans due to inactivity.

To address the damaging affects of inactivity, the Washington State School for the Blind hosts its annual heart healthy awareness activity, “Jump, Shoot, Save,” a fundraiser for the American Heart Association a month from now on Thursday, February 13. This is a two part event, Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops for Heart. The program spurs elementary, middle and high school students to engage in a healthier lifestyle.

Some blind students and staff find it difficult to jump rope, shoot hoops, or cannot physically participate in these activities. So, Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) adapted this rewarding program to meet the specific needs of the blind making it possible for all to exercise in a manner that addresses individual needs. The Kennedy Fitness Center, located on the northeast section of the campus, will be open for the exercise event from 7:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

WSSB classroom teachers are encouraged to lead their students in a short exercise routine prior to that day’s lesson or move the entire class to the fitness center for a workout. Those who participate in the Thursday event will log their minutes, and at the end of the day a celebrations with heart trivia, heart facts and an announcement of the school’s total minutes exercised is slated.

WSSB's focus is to also raise money for the American Heart Association. They ask  students to seek sponsors to underwrite their exercise efforts. WSSB provides envelopes to list  sponsors of each the participating student and to credit the amount each sponsor donates. The reverse side of the envelop lists prizes the students are eligible to win for their fundraising efforts. Additional rewards will be provided by the school and community businesses. Sponsorship is not required to participate.

The American Heart Association is a 501(c)(3) and donations may be tax deductible. Their tax identification number is available upon request, see contact information below.

All checks should be made out to the American Heart Association. For those who choose to donate online, the school asks that the student they hope to sponsor is alerted so the student can note the donation on their sponsorship envelope and be eligible for prizes. Online donations may be made at or The sponsor envelopes with all donations are due Monday, February 17.

In Washington, heart disease is the leading cause of death and stroke is number four. The American Heart Association has saved lives through astounding breakthroughs, including the heart-lung machine, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the pacemaker and lifesaving drugs. Financial donations help keep research cutting edge and Physical Education in Schools. Lives are continuing to be saved as great strides are made in the areas of cardiovascular research and preventive education.

For more information on WSSB activities contact:

Jennifer Butcher, teacher
Washington State School for the Blind
2214 E. 13th St.
Vancouver WA 98661-4120
360-696-6321 x 151