Gift Plus Training Can Equal Student Life-Savers

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Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)

Rosa Parks Elem students learn CPR

CPR saves lives. Now, a gift to from the American Heart Association and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is helping prepare students and staff to use it when emergencies arise.

The organizations donated 89 CPR kits containing instruction and practice DVDs, reminder cards, “Mini-Annie” CPR ‘manikins,’ and other vital supplies to elementary and middle school physical education classes.

The kits facilitate an introduction to CPR that fits perfectly with a health education curriculum that teaches about the circulatory system, and making good choices for health and personal safety.

“I’ve always taught hands-only CPR to our 4th and 5th graders, but it was so cool to have the new kit,” said Rosa Parks Elementary PE Teacher Trish Chimento.

Early exposure to CPR, educators know, creates “prior knowledge,” leading to better results when students encounter more-formal instruction as they progress through school.

A new Virginia law requires every student to receive training for emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an automated external defibrillator in ninth grade in order to graduate. Virginia teachers must be trained too. Since the requirement came without extra funding, a donation of $3,500 worth of CPR kits made a big difference for tight school budgets, and a bigger one for students.

Rosa Parks fourth grader Jonathan says, “Using the mannequin was fun! It made me less scared if I see someone who needs CPR. Now I won’t panic.”

Classmate Jamar agreed. “Knowing CPR will help me in the future if I come across someone in a medical emergency. It would be pretty cool if I could help someone or save someone…maybe even someone in my family.”


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