Anchorage Junior Academy Raises Funds for Heart Research

Anchorage Junior Academy is blessed to have seven constituent churches. They are the heartbeat that enables the school to make a difference in the lives of its students and their families.

Over the course of the school year, AJA tries to visit each constituent church for a Sabbath celebration. The students sing, lead out in prayer and scripture, perform skits and express their gratitude for the prayers and financial support given to the school. Without the support of these churches, AJA would not exist.

Since opening its doors in 1941, AJA’s mission is to enable students to experience the growth mentioned in Luke 2:52: “To increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” During the month of February, the school not only worked hard to grow students’ academic and spiritual skills, but also highlighted growing healthy hearts.

AJA partnered with American Heart Association to raise funds for heart research and individuals in need of life-saving heart surgeries and treatments. Aside from asking for donations, students also learned how their circulatory system functions.

On Valentine’s Day, students celebrated by rotating through heart-focused activities. In one rotation, students learned about the circulatory system and pretended they were a red blood cell moving through the four chambers of the heart before heading out on its journey through the body.

In another rotation, students learned that the heart is a muscle that must be strong to pump blood effectively through the circulatory system. They practiced this concept by transferring water between two containers with a tennis ball cut with a valve-like opening. Students had to squeeze the ball — contract the heart — to open the valve as they filled and then released the water. The goal was to “pump” for at least one minute without stopping, learning that the heart is a hard-working muscle that never takes a break!

A highlight of the rotations was a sensory tub to learn about three of the components that make up the blood being pumped by the hearts. Students touched “red-blood cells” that carry oxygen and nutrients, “platelets” that clump together to help stop bleeding and form scabs, and “white-blood cells” that fight against viruses and infection.

In the final rotation, students created heart themed art projects after listening to their own hearts using stethoscopes. At the end of the day, students gathered in the gymnasium to get their hearts pumping! They completed jump races, jump-rope endurance contests and hula hoop rock, paper, scissors. By the end, hearts were racing and smiles were ear to ear.

AJA is blessed to be a part of an educational system that values teaching the whole child — mentally, spiritually, physically and socially. We know that Adventist schools require many resources to run quality programs, but the sacrifice made by parents, churches, their constituents and our communities are worth it.

Our Adventist schools are making a difference today and creating a brighter future for our students — an eternal future where we can walk hand in hand with our Creator. Thank you to each one who helps make this dream possible for any Adventist school in our union. You are appreciated!

Featured in: May/June 2023