By Lindsay Doty
The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, has awarded $13,425 in grants to five central Indiana schools as part of its Kids Heart Challenge program, including two Hendricks County schools.
Lincoln Elementary School in the Brownsburg Community School Corporation and White Oak Elementary in the Avon Community School Corporation were both selected for grants to enhance physical activity and whole-body wellness.
Nationally, the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge awarded more than $400,000 to more than 170 elementary schools that participated in the program’s inaugural year, 2018-19.
The grant program offers four physical activities to get students’ hearts pumping: jumping rope, practicing basketball skills, dancing or completing an obstacle course.
Grant recipients are able to implement a variety of activities with additions like physical activity equipment, a mobile salad bar, CPR training resources, water bottle filling stations and educator training opportunities on their campuses.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans only 20 percent of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations.
The Kids Heart Challenge is 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 better 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 participants support the American Heart Association’s scientific research and outreach programs, paving the way for technological breakthroughs to improve health outcomes while creating healthier communities.
Schools are encouraged to register now for the Kids Heart Challenge to bring expanded curriculum resources to their classrooms in the 2019-20 school year. All participating schools are eligible to apply for grants ranging from $250 to $3,500.
To learn more about other school programs, or to make a donation to the American Heart Association, please visit heart.org.