Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Iowa. February is National Heart Month. Grades K-5 at D-G Elementary will be participating in the American Heart Association (AHA) Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart event. All of the funds raised are donated to the AHA to fight heart disease, fund life-saving research, and share educational materials. Heart disease and congenital heart defects touch so many lives, including students and staff right here in our school. Students will learn about heart health in class and may raise money by asking family, friends, neighbors and parents to support them while they do activities in physical education classes. The kick-off assembly for the 2013 D-G Elementary's Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart event will be on Wednesday, February 6, at 2:30 p.m. in the gym. After the assembly, students will receive their Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart information and donation collection envelopes. Checks should be made out to the American Heart Association (AHA). People will also be able to make donations on-line. The deadline for the students to turn their donation envelopes in is Monday, February 18. Featured at this year's assembly will be Ryan and Laura Moody of Dysart who will share a story of their son, Danson, a 1st grader at D-G. Danson was born with congenital heart disease. Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart is held on an every-other year basis at D-G Elementary. During the 2009 Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart event D-G students collected $5,670; Mrs. Hass's 5th grade class earned the pizza party; Teachers Mrs. Hass, Mrs. Keegan, and Mrs. Parker had the honor of throwing a pie in Mr. Ewald's face; 39 D-G students collected $50 and were able to help duct tape Mr. Ewald to the pie throwing chair; all of your dollars fund outreach and research here in Iowa; our last Jump Rope for Heart event saved 104 lives! D-G students will receive a special paper heart. Once they collect $10 in donations, the students may cut out the heart, color it, and write their name on it and return it to Mr. Ewald ASAP. The heart will be displayed on our Heart Hero wall at D-G. Students will also learn what fun and crazy things physical education instructor Mr. Ewald will do if they reach their donation goal at the kick-off assembly. This event will take place in PE classes on the dates of February 8, 11, and 14. One class will be directed toward Jump Rope and the other will be directed toward Hoops (basketball skills.) If anyone in the community would like to contribute to D-G's Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart event, your donations are welcome. We accept cash, checks (made out to the American Heart Association) or online donations at www.heart.org/jump, search "Dysart" then click "Join Team." Thank you to the D-G family that has made this event a big success in the past.