Sparta's Mohawk Avenue School Students Get Heart Smart

Parker Lombardi, Brielle Fastnacht, Christopher Ooand Jenna Flake show off their pedometers Credits: Jennifer Dericks
School nurse Leslie Huhn helps students find their heart diagrams on the wall Credits: Jennifer Dericks

SPARTA, N J – The third grade students at Mohawk Avenue School are getting heart smart. School nurse Leslie Huhn is getting creative when teaching students about heart health.

After getting the health lesson in their classroom, students were given diagrams of the heart to fill out and color in.  Huhn made it into a contest awarding a pedometer to each student in the class with the greatest participation. 

This year it was a tie between Sullivan and Nademus classes. 

Sign Up for E-News

The idea for the contest came last year when the school had extra pedometers from a batch that had been given to the teachers.  “So many of the teachers have fit bits or other devices that they didn’t have the need for the pedometers,” Huhn said.

This is the third year of this program.  Huhn said she was disappointed in the number of students who took the time to complete the diagram after the lesson was done in the first year.  Last year she thought of the contest and it worked.  “They love the competition,” she said. 

Huhn reached out to the Sussex County Health department and they donated the pedometers again this year.

The walls of her office are covered with colored hearts created by the students.  Some students came to her office to show off their pedometers.  They talked about some of the interesting facts they learned about the heart in Huhn’s lesson including the surprising statistic that the blood travels over 12,000 miles a day, the heart beats 100,000 times each day and the blood circulates three times per minute through the entire body.

“When the students learn these things about their heart, they seem to be more interested in taking care of it,” Huhn said. 

The hands-on lesson included the opportunity for the students to hear their own heart beat and learn how to find their pulse.  She had them check their resting heart rate then do jumping jacks and check their pulse again, as a way to make the lesson more relevant.  “I love it when I can see the look on their faces when I know they get it,” Huhn said. 

“I liked it when I got to hear my heart beat,” Jenna Flake said.

The students each had opinions about their favorite part of the lesson.  Christopher Oommen said he “liked coloring the heart the best. 

Brielle Fastnacht said the word search was her favorite part.

Student Parker Lombardi was excited to tell Huhn that he “had 5012 steps by bed time last night.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Car Crash Leads to Warrant Arrest

March 20, 2018

SPARTA, NJ –  A car going too fast for the snowy road conditions crashed on Route 15.  No one was injured in the one car crash but the driver, Melvin Pineda-Castro of Plainfield, 27, was taken into custody.  On March 13 around 6:30 a.m. Sparta Police Officer Ben Griffin arrived at the scene, according to police.

Pineda-Castro had lost control of his black Honda CRV, hit ...

Sparta Police: Failure to Keep Right Ends with Two in Jail

SPARTA, NJ – Two people from Dingman’s Ferry are facing charges for drugs and other issues after a traffic stop on Route 15.  On March 16 around 12:45 a.m. Cpl. Marc Rubino stopped Cory Parker, 34, for failing to keep right, police report.

The officer smelled raw marijuana when speaking with Parker in the red four door Ford.  The passenger, 35-0year-old Lindsey Hutchinson ...

Sparta Police Pick Up Franklin Woman Driving While Suspended

SPARTA, NJ – A traffic stop yielded an arrest for driving with a suspended license for a Franklin woman.  On March 13 around 11:30 p.m. Sparta Police Officer Timothy Lynott stopped Christina Bradford on Route 15 for having a broken tail light on her gray GMC pickup, police report.

When the officer checked her credentials, he found Bradford’s license had been suspended and she ...

5 Tips for elected officials

March 9, 2018

Dear Editor,

Wayne Levante, a self-described moderate, business-friendly mayor of Newton since his appointment 8 months ago, has been mired by one misstep and controversy after another.  From peddling debunked conspiracy theories about student “crisis actors” in the Parkland, Florida mass school shooting on social media, attacking residents and calling them ...


March 11, 2018



Republican Freeholder Candidates, Dawn Fantasia and Josh Hertzberg commended the District 24 Legislators for taking action in the wake of the horrific school shooting that took the lives of 17 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.   


Senator Oroho, Assemblyman Space and ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 9:30 AM

Sparta Recreation Department, Sparta

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 10:30 AM

Dykstra Park, Sparta

UNICO Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

McKenna Hall, Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Sparta

Night with NJ Giants #53 Harry Carson Beefsteak


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Perona Farms, Sparta

Trout Unlimited Annual Fund Raising Banquet

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, April 8, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River



Fri, April 13, 5:00 PM

Sparta High School Auditorium, Sparta

2nd Annual Jazz Festival at Sparta High School

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, April 14, 9:00 AM


Jr Lions Football - Meet & Greet

Education Sports

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River


Newton’s Spring Street Turned Green for a Day for St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 19, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—Despite the semi-chilly weather, residents from Newton, Sparta, Andover, Green, and all over Sussex County gathered on Spring Street, dressed in green for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

This year was Sussex County’s 15th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and had over 941 people marching in it, 79 vehicles, six floats and about 45 animals.

The ...

6 Easy Ways to Increase Zzzz’s During National Sleep Awareness Month and Beyond!

Team Nest Builder knows sleep deprivation leads to a myriad of problems, so we’re here to help you make your New Jersey home bedrooms the havens you deserve! Take a look at these simple ideas for increasing your zzzzz’s:

Soften Up

Employ a large area rug that covers the entire room to help absorb sound and enhance comfort.

Feeling Blue

According to a study by Travelodge, ...

4 Top Reasons NOW Is A Great Time To Buy A New Jersey Home

Team Nest Builder offers four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting:

Prices Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% over the next year.  The bottom in home prices came and left. Home values will ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Sussex County NOW Co-Sponsoring the March for Our Lives Newton

March 21, 2018

NEWTON, NJ - On Saturday, March 24th at 12PM, Sussex County NOW will proudly stand in solidarity with our co-sponsors, the Vernon High School Young Advocates Club and all of the other young leaders, both locally and nationally, who have organized a movement in the wake of the Parkland, FL school shooting to demand that students’ lives and safety finally take priority over the concerns of ...