The American Heart Association’s school-based youth programs, Kids Heart Challenge™ and American Heart Challenge™, awarded $1,291 to St. Joseph School – Fullerton in Baltimore County, to purchase bocce and badminton equipment. The annual grant program supports schools by funding resources to extend school wellness programs.
The American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is helping educators make whole-body wellness a priority by bringing more resources to school campuses. Grant recipients are now able to expand their schools’ wellness offerings with additions such as physical activity equipment, water bottle filling stations and educator training opportunities on their campuses to encourage their students to stay healthy and active. The application process was open to all schools who participated in the school-based programs in the 2021-2022 school year.
“We have participated with the Kids Heart Challenge for a few years in connection with our monthly service to support strong and healthy students in February for Heart Health Awareness Month,” St. Joseph School – Fullerton Principal Chrissie Ashby said.
“As a non-profit organization we are eager to earn extra funds for our school that support our students in a variety of ways,” Ashby added. “By receiving this grant, we are able to extend our Physical Education program to now include bocce and improve our badminton equipment. We are so excited to have these new materials for our students this year, and in years to follow.”
Last year, more than 265 students at St. Joseph School – Fullerton took a heart healthy challenge to move more or be kind through the Kids Heart Challenge program, and raised an incredible $23,395. Twenty-three additional students took their efforts to the next level and completed Finn’s Mission, learning the warning signs of a stroke and hands-only CPR.
“I am very excited for St. Joseph School – Fullerton to receive this grant. Their community worked so hard on last year’s Kids Heart Challenge program,” said Kate Poole, a Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association in Maryland.
“This year, Kids Heart Challenge is working to educate 1.8 million families on hands-only CPR. St. Joseph School will be a standout in helping us reach this goal,” she continued. “Their commitment to a world of longer lives healthier lives shines bright. I can’t wait for their students and staff to use their new badminton and bocce sets!”
With deep roots in physical activity, Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge have expanded beyond the gym to meet the needs of today’s youth and educators as science has proven the strong connection between physical and mental health. Kids Heart Challenge offers a variety of physical activities to get elementary students’ hearts pumping such as dance, basketball or jumping rope paired with digital mission to learn life-saving skills such as Hands-Only CPR™.
The American Heart Challenge is a service-learning program for middle and high school students. The program also helps boost heart health and self-esteem, while reducing stress and anxiety through programs featuring yoga, dance and obstacle courses.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, only 20% of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations. Both the Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge are rooted in proven science, which has shown that kids who are regularly active have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.
Funds raised by Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge participants support the American Heart Association’s scientific research and outreach programs, paving the way for improved health outcomes for healthier communities. Schools are encouraged to register now for the 2022-2023 school year. The program provides grant funding twice a year, mid-school year and year end, to provide resources in real time to students. Since the grant program began in 2019, over a million dollars has been granted to schools to support projects that make schools healthier.
To learn more about the American Heart Association’s kids initiatives, or to make a donation, please visit www.heart.org/kids.
Wayne, a lifelong Marylander, is the communications director for the American Heart Association serving Baltimore and Greater Maryland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.