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American Heart Association funds grants to four local schools for needed health equipment

Kids Heart Challenge and America Heart Challenge grant allows schools to target whole-body wellness in support of physical and emotional health

GREENSBORO — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, has awarded a total of $4,305 to four local schools, including Cooleemee Elementary (Davie County), Cornatzer Elementary (Davie County), Shoals Elementary (Surry County) and Southwest Elementary (Forsyth County) for physical educational equipment and sensory paths. Awarded to schools across the country, the grants continue the American Heart Association’s commitment to help educators make whole-body wellness a priority.

Details for school funding:

  • Cooleemee Elementary School received an award of $400 for PE equipment. “It is a great honor and privilege to win this award on behalf of Cooleemee Elementary. Our students love participating in the Kids Heart Challenge fundraiser each year. Winning this grant is a great way to reward our students with new P.E. equipment,” stated Russell Hilton of Cooleemee Elementary School.
  • Cornatzer Elementary School received an award of $1,500 for PE equipment. “I’m very grateful and excited about receiving this grant from the American Heart Association and their dedication to improving the lives and health of our students. This grant will allow me, as their P.E. teacher, much more flexibility in navigating the protocols of “socially distant” physical education,” said Brian Murphy of Cornatzer Elementary.
  • Shoals Elementary School received an award of $1,700 for sensory paths. “I am honored to receive the Kids Heart Challenge grant. Shoals Elementary will be using the funds to put in place sensory paths. Thank you, American Heart Association and Kids Heart Challenge,” shared Juliana West of Shoals Elementary School.
  • Southwest Elementary School received an award of $705 for stacking cups. “We are very excited to be receiving this grant from the Kids Heart Challenge. Southwest Elementary will use the funds to purchase sport stacking equipment for physical education classes and use the equipment for future before or afterschool clubs,” stated Matt Saldiveri of Southwest Elementary School.

The American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge awarded more than $400,000 to more than 180 elementary, middle and high schools who participated in either the in-school or digital programs for the 2019-2020 school year. Kids Heart Challenge offers physical activations to get elementary students’ hearts pumping such as hoops or jumping rope paired with digital missions to learn life-saving skills like Hands-Only CPR. The American Heart Challenge is a service-learning program for middle and high school students. The program helps boost heart health and self-esteem, while reducing stress and anxiety through programs feature dance and obstacle courses. Both program curriculums help prepare kids for success by supporting physical and emotional well-being, while offering new learning resources and physical activities to meet the needs of today’s youth and educators.

Grant recipients are now able to implement a variety of wellness activities with additions such as physical activity equipment, CPR training resources, water bottle filling stations and educator training opportunities on their campuses.

“I am thrilled that the students at these four schools will be able to participate in new and exciting lessons with the equipment that is be funded by our American Heart Association grants,” said Ginger Edmiston, American Heart Association Youth Market Director.

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.

In addition to improved physical health, the benefits of physical activity for children include improved grades, school attendance and classroom behavior. Physical activity can also help kids feel better, improve mental health, build self-esteem and decrease and prevent conditions such as anxiety and depression.

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 school-based programs to bring expanded curriculum resources to students in the 2020-21 school year. All participating schools are eligible to apply for the next grant cycle.

To learn more about other school programs, or to make a donation to the American Heart Association, please visit www.heart.org/kids .