BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Students from one Bentonville elementary school jumped to the top spot in fundraising for the annual Jump Rope for Heart event.
The American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart drive has taught children across the nation the importance of exercise for more than 30 years.
Elm Tree elementary in Bentonville raised the most money in the entire state of Arkansas for the fundraiser. They had about 600 children compete, raising more than $18,000 for the American Heart Association.
Participating in the event promotes healthy living by encouraging children to jump rope and stay active. Additionally, the money also goes toward fighting heart disease and stroke, which are our nation's No. 1 and 5 killers.
"We need to exercise, we need to make sure what we put into our bodies is good for us," said Donald Myers the PE Teacher at Elm Tree. "It's okay to have a little bit of sugar and sweets and candy and all that, but you kind of have to minimize that if you want to be healthy and live as long as you can."
Jump Rope for heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and builds healthier lives, while also teaching them about volunteerism in the community. Plus, students can use their jump roping skills to stay active during the summer.
"That's just kind of my goal, is being physical and having fun while doing it," Myers said. "My goal with the kids is to get them sweaty and smiling at the end of the day."
Last year, the school raised around $12,000.