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Jordan Creek PE Teacher Recognized by American Heart Association

Luis Suarez pictured with a class of Jordan Creek fifth graders who helped him win the award last year.

Luis Suarez is fantastic at motivating his students in physical education class at Jordan Creek Elementary. He even has an award to prove it. Suarez received the Best Jump and Hoops in the Des Moines Metro 2011-12 award from the American Heart Association for the school’s participation in Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart.

Beth Peck, youth marketing director for the AHA, credits Suarez for saving 65 lives last year.

“The success of his program is a clear indication of how effective he is at reaching students,” said Peck. “4,600 people will have a heart attack or stroke today and only half of them will survive. He is truly making a difference in the fight against cardiovascular disease and in the health of students.”

Suarez, who is quick to credit the generosity and hard work of the Jordan Creek parents and students, coordinated Jump Rope for Heart with first through fourth graders, while the fifth and sixth graders participated in Hoops for Heart. Over three weeks, students spent 15 minutes during each class period concentrating on the event. He estimates his students completed 120 minutes of jumping.

“This program fits in so well with our curriculum,” said Suarez. “Our goal is heart disease prevention.”

Jump Rope For Heart and Hoops for Heart are national fundraising programs sponsored by the AHA. These  programs promote physical activity, heart healthy living, and community service to children.