Appleton school students, staff Go Red For Women
Appleton — The students and staff at Appleton Village School wore red Feb. 3 on National Wear Red Day to raise awareness for women and their fight against heart disease and stroke.
The awareness day kicks off an entire month of learning about healthy habits for students at the kindergarten-to-eighth-grade school. February is American Heart Month.
"We are celebrating Go Red for Women to bring awareness to women across our nation and heart disease. Our goal here at Appleton Village School is to teach our children to have healthy habits so they can live healthy lives,” said school nurse Sonya Frederick, who is organizing the month of events.
One in every four women has heart disease, she said. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
The cause also hits close to home for Frederick, as she suffered a stroke in 2009. Her father and grandfather also each had strokes and her mother has a pacemaker, while other women close to her are survivors of congenital heart defects, heart disease and stroke.
"My goal is prevention," she said. "By starting healthy habits now, it will help them live healthy heart lives."
The school is working on developing a wellness policy that incorporates increased physical activity, such as movement breaks in the classrooms, increased physical education and recess time, and offering more mealtime options for students. Getting students more active leads to better attendance, better academics and all-around healthier kids, she said.
An AVS Heart Smarts bulletin board in the school's hallway is filled with students' pledges of a heart health goal and what they can do to stay healthy. Frederick is also updating the board near her office with new information and facts each week. This week, the board is filled with information about President Lyndon B. Johnson's first declaring February as National Heart Month in 1964.
Throughout the month, Frederick has various heart activities planned for the students. On Feb. 3, the eighth-graders learned CPR.
Frederick will donate $1 for every student or staff member who wore red to school. She estimated about 90 percent participated, so she plans to send a $150 check to the American Heart Association in the school's name.
Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.