Hudson -- The community is well aware of the academic prowess of local students. However academics are not the only pursuit students excel in.
Recently district schools, led by East Woods Elementary, helped set a record $60,649 raised for the American Heart Association through the Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart programs.
Students at East Woods led all schools in Ohio with $24,766 raised, according to Shelley Webber, youth market director for the American Heart Association.
"The Hudson City School District has a long history of supporting the American Heart Association and educating our kids about heart health and community service through Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart," Webber said. "Since 1991, the Hudson community has donated more than $500,000 for the American Heart Association, which funds research, programs and education to fight heart disease and stroke, our nation's No. 1 and No. 4 killers."
During the winter, East Woods and McDowell Elementaries held their Hoops for Heart programs where students participated in a seven-shot shoot out, according to Webber. In February, Ellsworth Hill held the a Jump Rope for Heart and Hudson High School participated in a Red Out basketball game against Stow High School in January to raise cardiovascular health awareness and to raise funds for the association.
"By including physical activity into their daily routines, kids can significantly reduce the onset and burden of heart disease," Webber said. "By raising money through Jump/Hoops For Heart, we are preventing heart disease and obesity for the next generation of Americans. Kids are learning how to live healthier while becoming passionate about raising money for other kids with sick hearts."
Every donation counted, Webber said.
"Some people think a small donation does not make an impact, but it does. To raise over $500,000 in 25 years is tremendous for one community," Webber said. "And that can fund so many life-saving research projects. That's what we do. We fund research and education to help come up with new medicines for heart disease and strokes."
Students asked parents and family members for set pledges before each program.
"Our students did a fantastic job -- as usual," according to Jayne Marconi, physical education teacher at East Woods and McDowell Elementary. "Students built their own personalized websites for our Hoops for Heart which enabled out of state family and friends to donate to their website."
Along with the fund raiser, students learned about heart disease and strokes, Marconi added.
"These kids really care about their future and helping put an end to this No. 1 killer in the United States," Marconi said. "We raised over $24,000 at East Woods and $17,000 at McDowell. Hats off to our students and to this continuing supportive community in making us successful."
Evamere has participated for five years and raised more than $9,000 this year, according to Sheri Porter, physical education teacher at Evamere.
"Our students, kindergartners and first graders at Evamere were very excited to be a part of this wonderful organization and are very aware of grandparents, parents or other relatives who have suffered from some form of heart disease," Porter said. "This year our parents assisted their child in setting up a website to gain donations as well as bringing in money directly to the school."
Evamere's event was the last week in February, Porter added. The students were "thrilled to see how much our jump rope skills improved over that time," she said.
"We continue to jump, run and play towards a heathier heart," Porter said. "Evamere is looking forward to being a part of The American Heart Association's program next year and in the many years to come."
Ellsworth students collected $6,410, according to Principal Jennifer Filomena.
"During their PE classes, they learned a variety of jump roping skills and completed a jump rope challenge," Filomena said. "Students sought out pledges from family and friends."
"Students were excited to participate and really enjoyed the prize challenges where they earned different rubber ducks for various fundraising efforts," she added. "Mr. Payne, our PE teacher, did a great job organizing and promoting this event. In the end, everyone wins…the kids, the American Heart Association and the community."
The American Heart Association agreed.
"The American Heart Association would like to thank the Hudson City School District for their many years of support, along with the Hudson community for continuing to make a huge impact on our mission to fight heart disease and stoke through life-saving fundraising dollars," Webber said. "And we would also like to thank Acme for donating brown bags to East Woods and McDowell for their prize distribution.
The Hoops for Heart and Jump Rope for Heart programs promote physical activity and heart health through playing basketball and jumping rope. The programs are co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.