Bellaire High School Students Take on the American Heart Challenge
Schools throughout the country are eerily empty. Students are surfing the internet instead of walking through crowded hallways, relying on videos and virtual meetings rather than face-to-face instruction. Many students have been finding themselves missing school, their friends, and the extracurricular activities that make watching a show on Netflix or sleeping in late so rewarding. Instead life, especially for high schoolers, seems like a never-ending list of cancelled sports games, performances, dances, and graduation ceremonies. Luckily, a few events have been made quarantine compatible, offering students at Bellaire High School a great opportunity to make life stuck at home a little less monotonous.
This year marks Bellaire High School’s first year partnering with the American Heart Association as part of the American Heart Challenge. Schools around the country partner with the AHA every year to host unique fundraising events that end with school wide dances, sports tournaments, and other activities that celebrate the money earned that helps to fund research into heart conditions.
Initially, Bellaire planned to have their challenge take the form of a school-wide kickball tournament, but in the meantime, the students are joining fellow participants in an online 10-day challenge which started March 30.
“So, we are kicking off a challenge for the American Heart Association in order to promote heart healthy habits and daily movement,” says senior Jessica Hoechstetter, the medical club’s historian, who played a significant role in organizing the challenge for Bellaire. “With all that is going on in the world, it’s super important that we motivate ourselves and work to stay active.”
The challenge is not only a huge fundraising opportunity for the American Heart Association, it is also an opportunity for students to learn about conditions like heart disease, while simultaneously raising awareness about the dangers of habits like vaping. The Heart Challenge is a reminder to students that health matters, now more than ever before, and that being educated about your health is one of the most important steps you can make take to maintain it.
The first challenge in “Kicking Cabin Fever to the Curb” was learning a dance routine, where participants were sent dance videos to learn and then share on social media. In the nine days that follow, students will continue to learn more about heart health, get access to recipes and petitions, make videos, and will be sent other fun challenge activities that provide a much-needed distraction for students, all while being challenged create good habits like daily physical activity.
Activities like these may seem small, but with our worlds so limited because of the virus, the AHC presents a significant opportunity for all of the Bellaire students stuck at home. Jessica says, "This is most important for my fellow classmates because we are going through a huge pandemic and it feels really out of control, but this is one thing that we can stay on top of…. It’s a pretty good distraction from all of the chaos. I just hope people will motivate and remember to keep moving forward.”
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