Fairview Elementary Hosts 2021 Kids Heart Challenge

Fairview Elementary has raised over $300,000 in 22 years.

Fairview Elementary students haven't let the pandemic slow them down. Every year students, led by Physical Education Teacher Mike Gillum, participate in the Kids Heart Challenge (KHC). It's an annual jump rope fundraising event on campus for the American Heart Association (AHA).

"We are one of the top schools in the entire State of Texas!" exclaimed Coach Gillum, who is in his 28th year of coordinating the event. "This money goes to the American Heart Association to do research, helping fight heart disease and stroke, and to educate our children on how to live a healthy lifestyle."

More than 40 years ago, the American Heart Association created the nationwide event to combat and prevent heart disease. It allowed PE teachers across America to teach students to jump rope while raising money for research through the AHA. 

Third Grade Winners

In addition to the AHA awards and prizes, Coach Gillum threw in extra incentives for Fairview's top earners. This year, first-grader Luke Putnam collected more than $500 to be awarded a fishing trip with the coaches and a brand new fishing pole. 

All of the top earners received a new fishing pole, with the second-highest earner receiving a Hoops for Heart basketball. The third highest earner received a $10 gift certificate to the popular MG's Restaurant. 

Second Grade Winners

"The kids love it. When they hear it's time for the KHC, they want it to be the next day," said Coach Gillum. "The gym is decorated with posters, banners, giant hearts with all of the kids' signatures on them. We play music while they jump, and we teach Kindergarten 20 jump rope tricks, first grade around 30, and second, third, and fourth grades learn 40 jump rope tricks."

Last year Fairview had seven students who collected over $500 each and raised over $14,000. This year Fairview raised more than $5,500 for the challenge.

SISD has raised more than $20,000 twice, been featured on the national top 100 list, and been featured on the Texas Top 25 list nine times. 

Kindergarten Winners

"Honestly, it's about teaching the kids to care about other people and give back to their community. To help people in need, that's the big message in all of this, and the kids really respond positively to that. They truly feel in their heart that this is something that they want to do, not just have to do." 

If you're interested in helping this cause, join Team Fairview online at heart.org/khc and link it to your social media.

First Grade Winners
Fourth Grade Winners
Coach Mike Gillum has been coordinating the Kids Heart Challenge for almost 30 years.