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Small school has big heart

Written on June 20th, 2007

Wellandport Christian School raises $5,300 for Heart and Stroke

Wellandport Christian School has shown that it may be a small school but it has a big heart. Last month the school, which has 112 students, raised over $5,300 for the Heart
and Stroke Foundation.

“It’s the most money our school has ever raised and we’re the smallest we’ve ever been,” says Principal Lisa VandenHaak.

The school participated in the Heart and Stroke Jump Rope for Heart event May 18. Jump Rope for Heart is a school activity to raise funds for heart and stroke research. Students do variations of jumping activities, with or without ropes, including jumping jacks, rope hopscotch, and the limbo.

While they jump, students are encouraged to wear a paper heart on their sleeves with the name of family-member or friend who has faced heart and stroke challenges.

VandenHaak says bringing in that personal element probably helped contribute to the school’s success this year.

“Plus our kids just love to get out there and do things when they hear about a cause like that,” she says. “They’re quite happy to get involved and do what they can. They’ve got big hearts.”

For VandenHaak’s children, the event was especially meaningful as they remembered a great grandmother who suffered a massive heart attack only two days before the event.

“It was really powerful, really fresh in their minds that this work and the research that the Heart and Stroke Foundation does is really important,” says VandenHaak.

On Wednesday, June 13, a representative from the Niagara chapter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation visited the school for an official reception of the funds.

“She was the one who suggested (the visit) because she was so impressed with our little school raising so much,” says VandenHaak.

Besides raising funds, Jump Rope for Heart is about encouraging students to begin a lifetime of active living and social responsibility. The event has been taking place annually for the last 25 years.