Bush Elementary School’s “Heart” Helps Their Community

Bush Elementary School students, Madelyn Wilkins and Lucy Hockenberry, dump water on teacher Jennifer Lindquist, as she articipates in a
Bush Elementary School students, Madelyn Wilkins and Lucy Hockenberry, dump water on teacher Jennifer Lindquist, as she articipates in a "polar plunge." Bush staff took the plunge as a reward for the school exceeding its American Heart Association donation goal.

If you happened to be outside Bush Elementary School today, a snowy winter’s day, you may have found a few staff members in swimsuits and goggles taking a “polar plunge” into an ice-filled kiddie pool. The staff were participating in the “polar plunge” as a reward for the school’s hard work in raising $4,290.24 for the American Heart Association (their goal was $3,000)! This is the 12 th year the school has conducted the fundraiser for the American Heart Association, which includes a program promoting being active and eating healthy. The staff completed two “polar plunges,” one for the morning group and one in the afternoon.

Bush staff members after their morning "polar plunge:" Shawn Reed, Kevin Swanson, Cristin Hockenberry, Jennifer Lindquist, April Shoup and Jay Grann.
Bush staff members after their morning “polar plunge:” Shawn Reed, Kevin Swanson, Cristin Hockenberry, Jennifer Lindquist, April Shoup and Jay Grann.

“I loved seeing the teachers take the plunge and getting to throw more cold water on them!” said Bush Elementary School third grader, Sonny Mason, who raised $575, the most money in the school. “I think it’s important to raise money for the American Heart Association because it helps people. And, some kids are born with bad hearts and hopefully the money will go to find medicine to help them get better.”
Bush Elementary School physical education teachers, Jay Grann and Shawn Reed, do the program each year as it fits in well with teaching elementary students. Teachers, Cristin Hockenberry, Jenn Lindquist, April Shoup, Kevin Swanson, Amy Anderson, Gary Gustafson, Steve Swart, Amy Vezina, Nikki Perez, Principal Kate Benson and Mr. Grann and Mr. Reed participated in the “polar plunge,” which was beamed virtually to in-person and at-home students so everyone, including families, could participate.

Bush staff members in the afternoon after their "polar plunge:" Nikki Perez, Steve Swart, Amy Vezina, Gary Gustafson, Amy Anderson and Principal Kate Benson
Bush staff members in the afternoon after their “polar plunge:” Nikki Perez, Steve Swart, Amy Vezina, Gary Gustafson, Amy Anderson and Principal Kate Benson

“In addition to the physical education connection, we also like to teach kids that there is always something they can do to help others out,” said Mr. Grann. “In this case, they help themselves by staying active and heart research by raising the money.”

This year, the physical education teachers have emphasized being active for an hour every day. With students being home a lot more, they have tried to show them how to be creative with things at home in order to get exercise and have fun.