When Longfellow Elementary School gym teacher Barb Williams lost her 28-year-old son to a heart attack, she decided to educate her students about the importance of heart health.
So in 2006, she brought the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart program to the Wheaton school.
"It's my way of helping other families," she said.
Every other year since then, she has enlisted parent volunteers to help organize 12 special jumping activities that are fun but also get the kids' hearts pumping.
There's a serious message about heart health she shares with the students before each session, and the program also raises money for heart research.
"You become a heart hero by helping (raise money) today," she told the students.
Williams said the students have raised more than $7,000 online and she expected the amount to go "quite higher."
After working out, each student received a high potassium snack in the form of a banana.
One of the parent volunteers, Jennifer Laird, wrote to Trader Joe's grocery store in Glen Ellyn to see if they would help with the refreshments. Store officials responded by donating 225 bananas.