PORTLAND, August 26, 2022 — Creston Elementary will kick off the school year by participating in Kids Heart Challenge™ a program designed to support student long-term mental and physical health while raising funds to support the mission of the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all.
The American Heart Association’s school-based program, 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™ and how to spot a stroke. 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.
“The Kids Heart Challenge benefits our students in a variety of ways,” says Angelica Cruz, Creston Elementary School principal. “First and foremost, it builds a foundation for better health by teaching students how to create healthy habits at school and at home. In addition, the fundraising element empowers students to make a significant impact on our community.”
Funds raised through the Kids Heart Challenge allow students to support wellness beyond themselves and be a part of the solution by making research funding possible seeking to improve cardiovascular health for all. In Oregon and southwest Washington, the American Heart Association is specifically focused on working to improve nutrition security.
The educational curriculum and physical activities included in the Kids Heart Challenge program help meet the needs of today’s youth and educators. 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. With deep roots in physical activity, the program has expanded over the years to additionally support student mental health through social emotional learning.
“In order to build a community where everyone has the chance to live a long and healthy life, we need all hands-on deck,” says Nick Brodnicki, AHA executive director for Oregon and southwest Washington. “That includes our schools and our students.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans1 only 20% of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations. In addition to improved physical health, the benefits of physical activity for children include better grades, school attendance and classroom behavior.
To learn more about the Kids Heart Challenge or to enroll your school to participate, visit
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 heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
 Department of Health and Human Services, 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines, page 14. Available for download here: https://health.gov/paguidelines/default.aspx