NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Most kids dread math, but a group of students in New Jersey are passionate about it.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, a group of students at St. Aloysius Elementary School in Jersey City were celebrating Friday after they won a national online math competition, beating more than 6,000 schools.

“(When you found out you won what was it it like?) It was amazing it’s like all our hard work paid off,” said eighth grader Kirti Khera.

“(So you actually like math?) No, I actually love it. It helps me be a better person,” said eighth grader Kalif Hurt.

“(Are you really good at multiplication?) I would say I am pretty good. (What is 12 times 12?) …144,” said eighth grader Joelle Francisco.

The students said they spent the year focusing and preparing for the First In Math team challenge — even coming in after school and during their breaks.

“Simple multiplication problems, division, subtraction, the usual stuff. There’s also geometry,” explained Daniel Cortes.

The children told Sloan the class changed their lives.

“Before last year I was not really good at math, but First In Math has inspired me. And also my teacher, as soon as my score got higher so did my grades,” one student said.

“(I’ve asked every student who their hero was and they said you.) I don’t know what I’ve done. I just did my job,” said their teacher, Maribell Ordonez.

The students will be graduating from the elementary school this year and say they will continue taking as many math classes as they can.

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