“We’re doing cardiovascular exercises to raise our blood circulation, so we can save hearts of children all around the world,” the 11-year-old student at Seeley Elementary School said.
Dionte and fellow students and staff of Seeley school participated in the annual American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart event Tuesday morning.
Dionte, who lives at Naval Air Facility El Centro with his family, was inspired to help participate in his school’s Jump Rope for Heart because like many Americans, Dionte’s grandmother and younger cousin suffer from heart conditions.
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Dionte described how he wanted to save children who have heart conditions and help them live a better life.
“I’m going to do as much as I can,” he said.
Second-grade teacher and event coordinator Mary Estabrook estimated about 400 students and 50 staff members participated in making the Jump Rope for Heart event come alive. Given that last year’s Jump Rope event consisted of about 23 students and raised a little more than $400, Estabrook is hoping that this year’s event can surpass that amount to more than $500 to $600.
No stranger to Jump for Heart events, 9-year-old Destyni Marshall raised $90 for the organization.
Inspired by a family member who has cancer and a video the school showed from the American Heart Association that brings awareness to children who suffer from heart conditions, Destyni wanted to help.
“I’m jump-roping to save hearts,” she said.
Estabrook said she hopes that by bringing awareness of heart disease of the students, that it will jumpstart bigger and better turnouts in years to come.
Celeste Alvarez is an Imperial Valley College journalism major interning with the Imperial Valley press for the spring semester. This is Alvarez’s first story.