HOMETOWN HERO: Jody Richards Elementary

By: Kristin Martin
By: Kristin Martin

"My sister, right when she was born, she had a heart defect. So she had to go to the American Heart Association, and then she had to get her heart worked on. That's why I raised the most money," said Grant Biggerstaff, a fifth-grader.
 

WARREN CO, Ky. (WBKO) Jody Richards Elementary raised more money than any other Kentucky school in a state-wide fundraiser for the American Heart Association.

Several students helped raise money for the American Heart Association through three weeks of Jump Rope for Heart, which happens in every school across the nation.

"Students learn about jump rope skills. They learn about the benefits of exercise. They also learn about raising money for the American Heart Association to fight heart disease," said Joe Dan Cline, the P.E. teacher at the school.

Cline found out just a few weeks ago they had raised more than any other Kentucky school at $23,000.

"That's what makes our students so important. It makes me proud of what they are accomplishing to help give back to the American Heart Association and help them save lives," Cline said.

The teachers say it's an opportunity for students to learn about heart disease and how common it is.

"Most of the time I'll have more than half my students that know someone that's had a heart defect raise their hands. So that puts a personal connection to what they're earning money and going out and getting donations for," Cline said.

One student lost his sister to heart problems, which is why contributing to the association matters so much to him.

"My sister, right when she was born, she had a heart defect. So she had to go to the American Heart Association, and then she had to get her heart worked on. That's why I raised the most money," said Grant Biggerstaff, a fifth-grader.

He raised over $1,000, making him the top-earner at his school.

"A lot of times people tend to think, 'They're little -- they don't understand.' But they have a really big heart, and this is what they did. They showed they really care about people," said Michele McKinney, the cafeteria manager who nominated the students.

For coming together to help in the fight against heart disease, we honor Jody Richards Elementary as this week's Hometown Hero.


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