Johns Creek Elementary has been honored by the American Heart Association for the school's involvement in the Jump Rope for Heart event.
The organization named Johns Creek the No. 1 new school in the nation for raising more than $26,000 to support nationwide heart and stroke research.
Principal Debbie Smith said physical education teacher Kim Autry was instrumental in getting the children excited about the event and securing volunteers.
Autry, who taught a jump rope course in February that culminated with the fundraiser, credited the success of the event to her students' enthusiasm.
"It's all about the kids," she said. "They work hard for it."
It was the new school's first year of participating, but Autry said it won't be the last.
"We'll do it every year," she said. "The kids love it. It gets them active. It gets them going and it's for a good cause."
Smith agreed that Johns Creek students enjoyed themselves. She said a majority of them, about 450, participated.
"Kim has done a great job. She really outdid herself this year," Smith said. "She has a great way of promoting this kind of thing."
Autry's no stranger to the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.
She also had been recognized for her efforts in promoting the event in her previous position at Sharon Elementary.
Students raise money through sponsors for the event. Relatives and friends can sponsor a rope jumper for however much they want to donate.
"You would be surprised at how skillful some of these students are at jumping rope," Autry said. "They're jumping forward, backward, with one leg over an arm, and they do it as partners too."
Autry said students were rewarded with a pizza party following the event.
"Everybody comes together and has a good time," she said.
Autry has been teaching physical education for 21 years in Forsyth County.
For more information about the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser, go online at www.americanheart.org.