Getting Heart Healthy at USM

Getting Heart Healthy at USM

University School of Milwaukee Lower School students participated in fun, interactive activities in their physical education classes to learn about healthy hearts. Starting on Feb. 13, students participated in the Kids Heart Challenge sponsored by the American Heart Association. Through the program, PE teachers hosted fun activities in school with engaging educational modules that teach heart-healthy information to students. 

The Kids Heart Challenge teaches students how to improve their own health and better their character while raising life-saving donations for the American Heart Association to help kids facing heart-health issues. USM students raised a school-record $33,312 to benefit the American Heart Association.

In addition to the Kids Heart Challenge, Preschool and Lower School physical education teachers Brooke Bernbeck and Jennifer Lee invited jump rope pro Nick Woodard to host classroom takeovers throughout the week to teach students about the benefits of jumping rope. “We’ve been planning to have Nick here for a few months to get the kids fired up about jumping rope, and to bring some cohesion and excitement to our program here at USM,” said Bernbeck. “He spent a few days here teaching jump-roping skills to Lower School students, which also ties in to keeping a healthy heart.”

Woodard has been part of the sport of jump rope for 28 years, and has won several national and world championships throughout his career. He has traveled the world promoting the sport to children, and is the owner of the Learnin’ The Ropes jump rope program. His visit to USM was supported by a Think Big grant, an endowed fund supported by generous donors so that USM teachers can apply for funding to obtain curricular enhancements and to engage in professional development opportunities.

A man doing a push-up in the gym while holding a jump rope
Lower School students surround a man in the gym with their hands raised
A man stands in front of Lower School students seated in the gym during an assembly
Four Lower School students practice throwing and catching a jump rope
A man jumps rope in the gym
Students jump rope while in the Lower School gymnasium