June 3, 2019 -- School kids in the United States have been jumping rope for more than a century, but the students at Roxboro Elementary have put a whole new twist on the hobby as they use it to raise money for the American Heart Association. In the five years that Rox El has participated in the AHA’s Kids’ Heart Challenge (previously called Jump Rope for Heart), they have raised more than $61,000 for the charity.
Physical education teacher Vince Nemeth, who oversees the fundraiser, also organizes a school-wide celebration each May to honor the hard work of the student body, who this year raised more than $9,100 by collecting pledges from family friends.
The May 10th event featured three jump ropers from each grade level performing their best moves. Jump rope skills and specific sequences are taught as part of Ohio’s standards for physical education in grades 2 through 5. The Heights High cheerleaders also performed, and faced some competition from Rox El’s Before & After Care students who prepared dance routines of their own. The school’s Challenge Choir sang and top community donor Rhonda McCurry was recognized.
But the highlight of the celebration is the same every year: that moment when the school’s top 10 fundraisers have the opportunity to throw a whipped cream pie in the face of a teacher. Teachers willingly step forward to accept the challenge and submit to this (delicious) public humiliation because they know it’s all for a good cause: raising money for research and education regarding heart health.
Mr. Nemeth says he feels excited every year to “make a difference and save a life” with the help of his students.
2018 Jump Rope for Heart Celebration.