FULTON – Heart health is something that hits close to home at the Fourth Street School in Fulton.
For the annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser, students of the Stepping Stones Day Program collected funds for American Heart Association research, health promotion and community programming in honor of former Fulton City School District employee Michael Stewart who died after a heart attack in February.
Physical education teacher Kelly Schulz, a Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation employee, said students wrote donation letters to family members and both CiTi and FCSD employees.
The total collected by the fundraiser’s recent culmination activity in the Fourth Street School gymnasium was $1,046 – double the amount students raised last year.
For the second consecutive year, student Brandon Miano (Hannibal Central School District) was named the top fundraiser.
He collected $203 this year.
Schulz said she could not be more proud of all of the students.
“Our kids get services from many people and this is a chance for them to give back,” she said.
The process also taught them soft skills, perseverance, how to improve their writing and making heart-healthy choices, such as drinking water instead of sugary drinks or simply exercising daily.
Students learned other heart health tips during weekly Wednesday announcements.
The recent culmination activity was full of fun, physical challenges including basketball and a game of musical dribbling.
Students earned tickets for collecting donations and their participation. Each students walked away with a prize.
Meg Gibbons, AHA youth marketing director, joined the fun and congratulated the students on their success.
Stepping Stones Day program is a collaborative effort between CiTi and Hillside Children’s Center, which provides a structured, small-group environment to help students overcome challenges so they may return to their home school district.