John Gregg Elementary students were the real heroes by raising more than $4,000 for the American Heart Association.
The youth completed their moneymaking mission during the Kids Heart Challenge on Feb. 24 and performed a variety of physical activities in the school gym. Students collected money from friends and family and about 167 first-to-sixth-graders participated in the fitness festivities.
“We raised over $4,000 and exceeded our $3,000 goal,” said physical education teacher Kari Byers, who was the event organizer. “The theme was ‘Heart Health’ and we had individual short rope, a long rope team of three competitions and fun jumps, plus partners and a super long rope.”
She said the fundraiser has been held at John Gregg for decades, with the exception of one year due to the COVID pandemic, and the top collector was second-grader Isabell Wood with $600. Students competed in events but Byers noted that they were all winners for helping the cause.
Kids learned valuable lessons about the heart, including that it beats an average of 108,000 times per day (or 3 billion beats in a lifetime), pumps about 83 gallons of blood per hour; and greatly benefits from eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. The challenge also promotes mental well-being and life skills by highlighting how helping others and being kind can lift and self-esteem through service-learning; denotes body wellness with healthy habits through interactive videos, nutrition and physical activities; explores the world of STEAM careers with augmented reality field trips through the heart, brain and lungs, career path videos and the Young Scientists Contest; being your best self by helping students explore and discover new passions from music and art to journaling and cooking; and the various school and teacher benefits from grants and scholarships to professional staff development.
Meanwhile, Byers praised school officials for their involvement in making this year’s event fruitful.
“The Kids Heart Challenge promotes heart fitness and our staff, PTO and food services all really worked together to create a successful event that the kids enjoyed.”