CLEAR LAKE, Iowa, March 29, 2023 — For the second year in a row, Clear Creek Elementary School set the Iowa record for its fundraising efforts through the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge™.
From Feb. 20 to March 3, the students at Clear Creek raised more than $40,000 to support the mission of the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all. The total beat the state’s previous record of $35,271 set by Clear Creek last year.

“Behind the leadership of amazing parent volunteers and educators, Clear Creek Elementary has consistently blown me away with its efforts,” said Amy Knoll, school engagement director for the American Heart Association. “Participating in Kids Heart Challenge is a longstanding tradition in Clear Lake and the community has proven time and again how they consistently show up to help others. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful partnership with the people of Clear Lake.”

Clear Creek has participated in the Kids Heart Challenge since opening its doors in 1998, but the school district’s history with American Heart Association school programs dates to the 1980s. This year, 306 students participated in fundraising efforts.

Funds raised by Kids Heart Challenge participants support the American Heart Association’s scientific research and outreach programs, paving the way for breakthroughs and advancements that improve health outcomes and create healthier communities. From 2018-2022, the American Heart Association funded $12.9 million across 67 new research studies at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

Clear Creek has raised $146,936.87 for Kids Heart Challenge since 2018.

“The Kids Heart Challenge program inspires and grows our students understanding of wellness in a fun and innovative way,” said Angela O’Tool, physical education teacher and coordinator of the program. “Pairing that excitement with raising funds for children with special hearts allows our students to grow their commitment to wellness beyond just themselves. It brings health to a new level, allowing them to be a part of the solution by funding research.”

The 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 missions to learn life-saving skills like Hands-Only CPR™. The program has more than 40 years of proven success rooted in scientific research which showed that kids who are regularly active feel better, improve their mental health, build self-esteem, and decrease and prevent conditions such as anxiety and depression[1].

The educational curriculum and physical activities included in the Kids Heart Challenge program help meet the needs of today’s youth and educators in virtual, hybrid and socially distanced classroom settings. The program, a successful part of thousands of schools from coast-to-coast, targets improving whole-body wellness which is vital to drive immediate and long-term health in children.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans [2] only 20% of kids get enough activity on a consistent, recommended basis. In addition to improved physical health, the benefits of physical activity for children include better grades, school attendance and classroom behavior.

Schools interested in participating in the Kids Heart Challenge can register online at


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:
Bryan Geelan: 515-414-3204;
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) and


[1] Department of Health and Human Services, 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, page 14. Available for download here:

[2] Department of Health and Human Services, 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, page 14. Available for download here: