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Small School With a Big Heart

St. Benedict’s Episcopal Day School’s 143 students raised well over $25,000 for the American Heart Association.

is proof that you don’t have to be big to have a big impact. The kindergarten through fourth grade school raised $26,129.34 for the American Heart Association through its Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.

The school’s fundraising efforts earned it the honor of top online fundraiser in the Southeast. But St. Benedict’s isn’t a giant kindergarten through twelfth grade private school with hundreds of students. There are only 143 students at the school, making the average raised by each student about $182.

“Everyone just grabbed ahold of it,” said Robin Kisch, St. Benedict’s physical education teacher. “I spoke to the parents and asked them to let the kids take lead, but kind of be supportive and not just write them a check for $20, but have them do something so that it would mean something. And that’s what they did.

Students raised money by holding bake sales, yard sales, selling lemonade on the Silver Comet Trail and fundraising door to door. The top fundraisers were Bailes Malone with $2,028, Chase Moynihan with $1,352 and Devan Sanghvi with $1,063.

Students did more than raise money, they also reinforced healthy habits through jump rope challenges. Students challenged themselves to learn new jump rope tricks and complete a certain number of jumps. Kisch said each class met their jump rope goal.

Students also participated in a Jump Rope for Heart presentation at school on April 13. Students invited their parents to see what jump rope tricks they’d learned and even taught them the tricks too.

“It was very touching the work that they did, not just physically, but to help other people,” she said. “They physically worked hard as well as collecting money too. And I though that’s pretty cool.’

The students’ hard work won’t go unrewarded. When fundraising began, Kisch and St. Benedict’s music teacher Chris Butler challenged the students to surpass the previous year’s fundraising total of $12,000. If St. Benedict’s met the goal, Kisch and Butler would spend the night on the roof.

“The day came and we had reached $25,000 before we knew it,” she said. “So I opened it up to all the teachers that wanted to go to the roof because it was a school wide event and everyone did such an amazing job. So all the teachers are going up to the roof Friday.”

Kisch said students can put “survival supplies” into a bucket that will hang from the side of the building to send to their teachers on the roof. Teachers will spend Friday night on the roof and come down in time for St. Benedict’s May Day celebration.

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