OTF Grant helps students stay active through Jump Rope for Heart

The educational program is adapting to the pandemic by offering new delivery options and tools, thanks to support from OTF

Today, Heart & Stroke is recognizing the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) generous support to encourage children to stay physically active during the global pandemic and learn healthy habits for life. In 2021, OTF awarded Heart & Stroke a $149,200 Resilient Communities Fund grant to support the Jump Rope for Heart educational and fundraising program. This has allowed Heart & Stroke to adapt to COVID-19 by designing and implementing a digital delivery model for the program.

“Heart & Stroke plays an important role in Ontario including by providing encouragement for and educating all of us in developing healthy lifestyles which are critical to preventative healthcare – keeping us all healthy longer. This is more important than ever and especially for our children and youth. I am delighted that with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Heart & Stroke continues to expand this important initiative to help our youth develop healthy habits for life," stated Robin Martin, MPP for Eglinton-Lawrence.

Traditionally, Jump Rope for Heart is executed through a series of in-person touchpoints and activities, culminating in a school-wide assembly and jump-rope activity. However, for the past two years, the pandemic has contributed to an unpredictable school environment with students and teachers moving frequently between in-person and remote learning. With OTF’s support, Heart & Stroke has transformed its Jump Rope for Heart program so teachers can choose between a remote, in-person or hybrid option. 

“Thanks to OTF’s tremendous support and the strong commitment of students, teachers and parents, we have strengthened our Jump program by offering an exciting and engaging in-person, virtual and hybrid option with new and enhanced tools,” said Anne Guilfoyle, Director, Community Programs, Heart & Stroke. “Students can stay physically active and learn about healthy habits and early prevention from the comfort of their home or at school, while at the same time raise critical funds to beat heart disease and stroke.” 

The Jump Rope for Heart program includes several new features to educate and interact with students: 

  • A four-part video series on healthy habits featuring animated characters “Heartly” and “Hallie.” 
  • A new and interactive game called “Easy Online Challenge” that teaches students about 4 “EASY” habits: Eat fruits and vegetables; Stay active for at least one hour; Limit screen time to less than two hours each day; and say “Yes” to water. 
  • An improved “Healthy Habit Tracker” that encourages students to choose one habit to focus on each day and track their progress.
  • A new online chat function for teachers, parents and students to seek help at any time from anywhere.

Jump Rope for Heart is Canada’s leading children’s health education fundraising program. Since 1981, Heart & Stroke has been partnering with schools to engage students on the importance of being physically active, eating well and learning other healthy habits. Students are invited to participate and invite people to make a donation to raise critical funds in support of Heart & Stroke. To date, Jump Rope for Heart has raised more than $425 million to fund life-saving research that will help beat heart disease and stroke. 

Learn more about Jump Rope for Heart

About Heart & Stroke

Life. We don’t want you to miss it. That’s why Heart & Stroke leads the fight to beat heart disease and stroke. We must generate the next medical breakthroughs, so Canadians don’t miss out on precious moments. Together, we are working to promote health, save lives and enhance recovery through research, prevention and public policy. heartandstroke.ca @HeartandStroke

About Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non‐profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non‐profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID‐19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

Media Contact

Maryse Bégin
Regional Advisor, Communications
Heart & Stroke