Milton School was a blur of Valentine red the week of February 9 while students in grades K-5 learned about maintaining a healthy heart through exercise and nutrition.
By Sarah Varney
Milton School was a blur of Valentine red the week of February 9 while students in grades K-5 learned about maintaining a healthy heart through exercise and nutrition. On February 13, first graders — mostly girls — displayed Valentine’s Day excitement with sweaters, shirts, and headbands adorned with hearts and arrows. They then put their hearts into jumping rope at a steady pace for an uninterrupted 30 seconds — for a good cause. Milton Physical Education teacher Becky Ward runs the American Heart Association fundraiser on behalf of children with cardiac ailments. The classes raised some $500.
This year’s curriculum focused on jumping rope and how it increases heart rate. In addition to learning to jump in various patterns, the children learned how to measure their resting and active heart rates and gained an understanding of the anatomy of the heart and how it works.
Asked what interesting fact he’d learned at the end of class, one first grader replied, “I learned that blood makes oxygen.”
Milton students also learned the “Five For Life”: physical activity; healthy eating; avoidance of tobacco; minimizing sodium; and avoiding sodas and other sugary drinks.
While the children had fun jumping rope, Ms. Ward said, “It’s the physiology that’s most intriguing to students. The kids love learning about the body. It’s the educational piece that’s really a big draw for them.”
Ms. Ward didn’t limit the Five For Life message to students. She suggested the children encourage their parents to stick to the Five For Life too. “Just ask, ‘Hey Mom, hey Dad, do you know what the Five For Life are?’”
It’s likely that many Milton parents, hoping to enjoy the school winter break vacation, either lounging on the beach or sitting in front of a roaring fire watching college basketball on a 106-inch flat screen television, may have been quizzed about Five for Life this week.