CRANFORD, NJ - Orange Avenue School (OAS) students, faculty and staff raised over $7,300 for the American Heart Association while raising awareness of heart health through their "Volley for Heart" campaign.

Between January 20 and February 5, the students, faculty and staff, in partnership with the American Heart Association, raised awareness for heart health and lifelong healthy living.

The goal of this educational and fundraising effort, led by Mrs. de Araujo and the entire OAS Physical Education Staff, was not only to educate the students about how to lead a heart healthy life now and in the future but also to teach students about citizenship by raising funds to support the American Heart Association in its efforts to increase awareness about heart health and continue its research to eradicate heart disease and stroke. 

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The Volley for Heart campaign began on January 20 with an educational assembly led by Mrs. de Araujo and Mr. Jim Presbrey, Vice President, New Jersey Youth Market, American Heart Association. During the assembly students learned about the heart, heart disease, stroke, the American Heart Association and its purpose, and three key healthy heart lifestyle choices. 

Following this kick-off event, the Volley for Heart Campaign began accomplishing its goal by actively engaging all third-eighth grade students during their physical education classes in the fun, physically active lifelong sport of volleyball.

Additionally, each day, morning announcements and physical education lessons focused on a heart health topic to deepen students’ knowledge of anatomy, nutrition, physical activity and heart disease and stroke. To reinforce students’ understanding of citizenship and civic responsibility, the school had a goal to raise $4,000 to support the American Heart Association. The students, faculty and staff surpassed that goal and raised over $7,000.

The Volley for Heart campaign culminated with an assembly celebrating the middle and elementary school grades who raised the most money. The sixth grade led the school collecting over $2,000 and the third and fifth grades tied raising approximately $1,300 each.  

During the assembly the top four individual fundraisers were rewarded by dumping green slime over Assistant Principal, Mr. Kevin Deacon and physical education teacher, Mr. Chad Faulcon. The top four fundraisers in order of donations collected were Grace Ramirez, grade six; Jessica Mooney, grade six; Emily Howlett, grade eight; and Isabella Aslin, grade three.

Through their efforts, the students at OAS learned not only how to help themselves by creating heart healthy habits but also how to help others by becoming engaged, active citizens through sharing information, modeling healthy living and raising funds to help others.