The Madisonville Elementary first and second graders have raised over $3,000 for heart disease with their Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser through the American Heart Association and celebrated with their annual Jump-athon in the gymnasium on Friday.
"Over the last few weeks we've been giving out little facts about health over the morning announcements," said Madisonville Elementary P.E. teacher Kay Welch, who was in charge of the event. "I told them they better listen because we'd be giving out prizes today."
The American Heart Association has been running the program for over 30 years and Welch has done it in all 25 of her years at Madisonville Elementary.
"The kids just love it," said Welch. "It's not like a P.E. period because the whole grade is in the gym at once. Everybody's together and they have a chance to show off in front of their friends and let loose for a good cause."
Sure enough, the event kicked off with over 180 first graders taking turns with hula hoops and jump ropes. Welch's prize questions taught the kids that most people consume too much salt, that our hearts are the same size as our fists and the blue whale has the biggest of all hearts.
The students who answered Welch's questions correctly through her microphone once called upon received a prize.
The students were given a packet to help them organize ways to raise money for the cause. They could ask family and friends for donations, but many also turned to the internet to help them raise the funds.
The students were able to use accounts through the American Heart Association to raise the money and online. Welch and the students were able to keep track of how much they raised this way and which students raised the most.