JOPLIN, Mo. — The hard work of students at an area school has paid off… in the form of clothing and sports swag.

Back in February, students at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School learned about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, they raised money for the American Heart Association.

In recognition of their efforts, the organization sent some swag the student’s way. They were excited to open up packets that included shirts, socks, playground balls, and jump ropes.

“St. Mary’s Elementary raised $14,005 and some change, which is phenomenal. They expect a school our size to raise between 12 and $1,500 and they blew it out of the water,” said Margie Black, St. Mary’s Elementary P.E. Instructor.

In the last nine years, Black says St. Mary’s Students have raised $84,000 for the Kids Heart Challenge.