With their most recent donations, Buckeye Elementary has raised $3,800 for the American Heart Association as part of the annual “Kids Heart Challenge,” nearly doubling the goal of $2,000 by 2023. Pictured from left to right are the physical education teacher and coordinator from the Lisa Miller program and the three Buckeye students who have raised the most donations this year Sophia, Damien and Connor. (Salem News photo by Morgan Ahart)

“The kids have been so amazing in what they’ve been able to accomplish and the work they put in each year and we just wanted to do something to support them.” Ken Peters said.

During the month of January, Buckeye Elementary students and staff have participated in the annual event “Children’s Heart Challenge” in which students raise money for the AHA by exercising and making healthy choices since 2008 when the program was still called “Jump rope for the heart” and originally supervised by physical education teacher Julie Moore.

“We really like to take the opportunity each year to challenge our students to consider their actions and make choices that support healthy hearts and bodies, even more so than normal.” Said physical education teacher Lisa Miller.

During the event, each year students are taught about healthy choices and complete activities during their PE courses to raise funds and win fun prizes. This year’s efforts, coordinated by Miller, had a goal of raising $2,000. While this may seem like a large amount, Buckeye students and staff have certainly risen to the challenge by raising $2,800 since early January. This already impressive number has been enhanced by the incredibly generous donation of $1,000 from Ken Peters and his family, bringing the school’s total funds raised to $3,800, making Buckeye Elementary ninth in the State of Ohio with the increased amount of funds raised through the program.

The Peters family made a $1,000 donation to the American Heart Association in support of Buckeye Elementary’s campaign to raise funds and spread awareness about making heart-healthy choices. Pictured from left to right are Johnny, June, and Jenny Peters. (Salem News photo by Morgan Ahart)

Those interested in joining the program can register by downloading the Kids Heart Challenge app or by visiting heart.org/KHC. While there, those interested can search Buckeye Elementary on the website to learn more about this year’s efforts and all the amazing fundraising work the school has done.

Buckeye Elementary Principal John Lundin said the program was a good opportunity to both teach students about philanthropy and healthy decision-making.

“This program is truly an amazing way to teach kids about donating and fundraising for a good cause, and the positive impact they can have by doing so,” Lundin said.

Miller agreed with Lundin, further noting that it served as a good opportunity to remind students and families of the importance of making sure their physical needs are met, especially for students who are still growing.

“It’s never a bad thing to have this kind of reminder, making sure kids get the 10 hours of sleep they need a night and at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Recently we have been reminding students of the importance of hydration and drinking water, challenging them to incorporate more water into their diets instead of sugary drinks.” Miller said.

Buckeye staff and students are incredibly proud of their involvement in this program with banners hanging in the gym celebrating their past accomplishments in the program, dating back to their first year of participation in 2008. This pride extends to Moore, who the Buckeye staff wanted to show their appreciation and acknowledge for all of his contributions to the program in the past.

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