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During an assembly at Nixa’s Summit Intermediate school Tuesday, a check for $41,916 was presented to fund the CoxHealth Cardiac Kids program. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann attended the assembly and has more.
[sound of kids at the assembly]
How many times does the average heart beat in a day? How much blood does the average heart pump in one minute? Many of us may not know or remember, but this 5th grade class does. This assembly was the first step in the Cardiac Kids program, made possible through CoxHealth and Kohl’s. Abby Tate is a wellness educator with the hospital . She says that Nixa is the 12th school taking part in this program, and the first one in the Springfield area.
“Fifth grade students, we have discovered, is the best age because it is a time when they are starting to make their own conscious choices. [Choices] about the foods that they’re eating and the activities they are doing, and to be old enough to be comfortable with the cholesterol screening as well. So we’re catching them as early as we can to prevent some of the bad choices in the future,” Tate says.
Next, Tate says, is when RNs will come back to the school in two days to conduct the cholesterol screenings with the kids, as well record height, weight, blood pressure and do a non-invasive diabetes pre-screening. Tate explains this is a voluntary program and is no cost for families. She says it is important because it is often the only or best opportunity children may have for this type of screening and preventative care. After that they will return in December with the results during a family fun night that offers games and healthy cooking designed to provide ways to make good future choices.
Next school year those students who had abnormal screens will be tested again in 6th grade for improvement. Tate says so far they’ve seen at least a 50 percent improvement rate with participants the following year.
Rick Borgard is with Kohl’s department store. The company partnered with CoxHealth in 2011and to date has raised around $132,000 for children’s health programs.
“Throughout the year we sell the [stuffed] animals and the books in the front of or store for charity. They’re $5 a piece and 100 percent of that money goes towards children’s wellness and education,” says Borgard.
The grant of $41,916 from Kohl’s will cover the full cost of the Cardiac Kids Program at Nixa’s Summit Intermediate school.
For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.