This year’s challenge was called “Finn’s Mission”, named for a young boy born with a heart condition and has already had 17 surgeries. As students reached new fundraising levels, they could collect a new backpack tag of a special character with a special heart-healthy mission like getting enough sleep, staying away from tobacco and vaping, eating right and exercising and being kind to others. Finn’s Mission also included a challenge for kids and their families to learn Hands-Only CPR. Washington Street Elementary had 17 students complete this and Dix Street had 36!
Finn provided a special connection to the cause for students. But many of our kids also have more personal connections at their schools.
Just last year, WSE’s head custodian Gary Richie suffered a stroke. He’s now doing well and back at work, but the Kids Heart Challenge activity day included a special station for students to write him a note. Those notes are now displayed in a big heart in the hallway outside Richie’s door. “It makes me feel like this is where I belong,” Richie says of the special gesture.
Two years ago, Dix Street Elementary PE teacher, Darcy Bentley, suffered a heart attack and had to undergo emergency surgery. A friend and coworker is credited with saving her life by doing CPR. Bentley runs the Kids Heart Challenge at DSE and since her heart attack, it’s taken on a new meaning. “I really encourage the kids to watch the videos that the American Heart Association has on the website. One video is to learn the signs of a stroke and the other teaches hands only CPR. Hands only CPR is a great life skill to have. That has been my focus,” she says. When she started bringing this fundraiser to Dix Street 17 years ago, she did so in honor of an Otsego administrator who died from a heart attack, then for her dad who had a stroke. Now that she’s been a recipient of heart care, her advocacy is only stronger. “I want them to understand how important learning hands-only CPR is and what a great cause we are earning money for. I am a blessed woman to be here and I love that we can make a difference every year with our donations!”
All three elementary schools set up fun activity stations for the Kids Heart Challenge days to do during PE class. And the kids and families really get into this fundraiser. Total, the three schools have raised just $27,946 and a few more dollars might come in yet. This is an annual fundraiser for Alamo and Dix Street, Washington Street participates every other year.
Otsego Public Schools is looking forward to beginning a new, exciting project to help our students and families. Construction will begin soon on a Student Health Center.
Senior Aly Aldrich is the 2023 DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Good Citizen Award Winner for Otsego High School.
Michael Miller, who oversees the middle and high school robotics teams, had a rare opportunity to see the world of robotics in a different way thanks to the FIRST organization.
Otsego’s Director of Technology was among educators from across the world this fall and is excited to share the knowledge and experience with our students and staff.
Supt. Jeffery Haase was awarded the 2023 Superintendent Communicator of the Year award for outstanding communications by the Michigan School Public Relations Association.