Above: An AED (Automated External Defibrillators) Machine
City and Country is different from other schools. We encourage playing with blocks until third grade, we do not give grades and we CPR certify our eighth graders. Some students do not know that the XIIIs take a entire day to learn how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), implement first aid, and use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) CPR is used when somebody is under cardiac arrest or when their heart stops pumping. An AED is a tool used to both monitor and correct the heart’s rhythm to make sure the person being check is safe.
By teaching CPR in the XIIIs, City and Country gives our students a head start on completing high school requirements. Knowing how to perform CPR when is required by state law in order to graduate from high school.
The XIIIs loved CPR training for the most part. Although not every XIII student is certified yet, the group was split into three separate groups, two of the three groups are (only eight arnt). The XIIIs learned how to do CPR by watching a slideshow, watching Nurse Elaine Donovan demonstrate CPR, and practicing CPR themselves on adult and infant dummies.
Hanna Kenyatta, a CPR certified XIIIs student, said, “Taking the CPR class was not only helpful for me to get good paying jobs, since if you are CPR certified you get paid more, but it was fun. I had a good group and everyone was really enthusiastic about it. It was really cool when I learned how to do the CPR compressions on the little Anne dolls and baby Anne dolls. When we took our test I was very nervous, but I ended up only getting one wrong out of 30!”
Roland Levy, XIIIs, said, “I thought [the course] had a good balance between hands-on learning and slides. Even the slides were engaging because they were highly visual and contained many detailed videos. I also think I came away with a deeper understanding of what it actually means to be having a stroke or seizure, how to recognize and treat different medical situations, and the standard protocol for CPR.”
CPR teaches useful skills to our XIIIs students and it has been doing this for a while. City and Country holds value in its past, and because it has some important traditions like the torch run, and Rhythms and Library. Students also make annual plays. Still there is one tradition that many students might not know about.
So where does this tradition of teaching CPR come from? How long has it been going on for? Most importantly, why do we teach CPR? “It started in the 2001-02 academic year,” explained Gino Crocetti. “I started [teaching CPR] because of three reasons. First, CPR is an interesting way of looking at human physiology in a practical way [which was what Gino taught his students at the time]. Second, it's an important skill to know because many high schools and colleges require you to know how to do it. Thirdly, I thought it made a nice final experience for the XIIIs for the end of the year.”
And Gino's expectations for the group were correct. Many XIIIs, including Roland, Hanna, and Declan Larson, enjoyed CPR training.
Gino said, “ CPR is a tradition, It is only been 17 years, but yeah, it has become something we do regularly.”
Now that the XIIIs do not study physiology in Science anymore, why do the students continue to learn CPR year after year? Michele Bloom, Director of the Middle and Upper School, said, “It started off in Science but it is a life skill. I think for the XIIIs, it is empowering, and it should be empowering. It gives you skills so you can be helpful.”
And CPR training certainly is useful According to 2014 data gathered by the American Heart Association, nearly 45% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims survived when bystander CPR was administered.
Michele later added, “I do think it is a tradition in our school. It is like a rite of passage. I think it is nice for our XIIIs to have a certification to help. I think tools are important and empowerment is important and CPR does both of those things.”
CPR training at City and Country, while not nearly as old as some other parts of the curricula, is a much loved and enjoyed health program. Students learn a valuable life skill and have fun doing it.
Many students are happy because once they are CPR certified, they can get higher wages for some jobs and are more likely to get hired for certain jobs to begin with. So while CPR training is not as deeply rooted in City and Country history as some other programs, the benefits are reaped every day by graduating students.