CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Students at J.B. Watkins Elementary in Chesterfield took their health into their own hands throughout the 2017-2018 school year – raising more than $42,000 for the American Heart Association in the process.
The AHA declared J.B. Watkins as the No. 1 school in Virginia – and the No.19 school in the country – for their participation in 400 heart-healthy challenges, including pledging to either drink water in place of sugary beverages, eating a fruit or vegetable with every meal or exercising for 60 minutes a day.
Tex Stinnett was the top donor, bringing in $1,000 and winning the opportunity to throw a pie in the face of PE teacher, Corey Cotman. Cotman along with fellow PE teacher, Chris Bourne, coordinated the efforts at the school. “Working with the American Heart Association is a win-win for us. The main reason we participate is to help bring positive change,” Cotman said. “On one hand, we are teaching students how to live a healthy lifestyle at a young age, and on the other hand, we are spreading awareness about heart disease while raising money to help people live longer.”
Students also competed in a jump roping contest for most consecutive jumps. The winners from each grade level were Ava Ellsworth for the 5th grade, Emily Quyle for the 4th grade, Sam Schwabe for the 3rd grade and Lila Prisco for the 2nd grade.
For the 2018-2019 school year, The American Heart Association is presenting a new youth program – Kids Heart Challenge. The program includes emotional well-being and character building exercises in addition to physical and nutritional health components to help students build healthy and successful lives