By Kristin Schultz
Their hearts were bursting with generosity again this year as Hillside Elementary School students tied on their tennis shoes and picked up jump ropes for the annual Jump Rope for Heart event.
Last year the elementary school earned bragging rights as the top fundraisers in the state, bringing in more than $19,000 in donations to the American Heart Association.
They look to be on track to meet or beat last year’s number, and have well exceeded this year’s goal of $10,000. Teacher and event organizer Darryl Bray said there were $15,000 in online donations and he expects to count another $2,000 to $5,000 in non-internet donations.
From Jan. 16 to 19, groups of students in kindergarten through fifth grade stayed after school to jump rope and run an obstacle course.
On Tuesday, Jan. 16, nearly 40 children sat patiently on the floor of the Hillside gymnasium as Bray took attendance and explained the afternoon’s format and rules: jump roping in the hallway, obstacle course in the gym and don’t leave until parents sign you out.
The students scattered as some lined up to race their friends around the course while others took a jump rope and went into the hallway spaces.
Mia Morrow and Vivian Reeves, both fourth-graders, said they were glad to be able to raise money for heart-related research. Both also reported that they raised more money this year than last.