New Jersey school to adopt Southside ISD’s Teddy Bear CPR Program

A Menchaca Early Childhood Center student hugs a purple bear she received as part of the Teddy Bear CPR Program.

Menchaca Early Childhood school nurse and Southside ISD Education Foundation Innovation Grant winner Heather Siebert, R.N. is always thinking about making life better for the students she serves. “Because so many of our children are being raised by their grandparents, and it could take EMS time to reach families in need, I wanted to introduce them to CPR by using Teddy Bears,” Siebert said. A couple of TV stations and a newspaper came out to report on the Teddy Bear CPR program. Next thing you know, Nurse Heather received an email from a school nurse in Franklin Township, New Jersey, located about an hour west of New York City. Claremont Elementary School nurse Maribeth Virzi, R.N. wrote, “I’m a school nurse in New Jersey and came across a video of your phenomenal Teddy Bear CPR program.” The New Jersey nurse says she finally found what she was looking for, “I was looking everywhere. I was just going through everything,” said Nurse Virzi. Both nurses will meet virtually to collaborate and share ideas on helping children in both states. “I would love to meet the nurse who had such a tremendous idea and then brought it to fruition,” Nurse Virzi said. Locally, the Teddy Bear CPR Program happened as a result of funding from the Southside ISD Education Foundation. Menchaca Nurse Heather said, “The innovation grant could not only save lives here locally, but potentially across the country.” Foundation president Daniel Rodriguez said, “To hear that an innovation grant winner’s work is helping people in another state is amazing!” Click here to see the initial news video on KSAT 12 News. 

To find out how you can help donate or be a part of the Southside ISD Education Foundation to help more inspiring teachers like Heather Siebert, contact Sylvia Rincon at