KENTUCKY, October 18, 2023 — To help Kentucky students perform better in the classroom and drive long-term health benefits, the American Heart Association awarded Goodridge Elementary in Hebron, Kentucky, a grant for $2,500 to help fund pedometers for their Cardinals Across America Challenge and Benton Elementary in Benton, Kentucky, a $1,505 grant to help fund exercise and storage equipment. The grants were awarded as part of the Kids Heart Challenge™, a nationwide school-based program that provides age-appropriate curriculum to educate students about healthy living in a fun and engaging way.

Goodridge Elementary School Kids Heart Challenge coordinator and physical education teacher, Nick Reed, said he is excited that the grant will allow them to expand their Cardinals Across America Fitness Challenge, which is a fun school activity that gets kids active.

"Goodridge Elementary School is blessed to receive a Kids Heart Challenge Grant,” Reed said. “Our grant has helped us to purchase classroom pedometers and handheld heart rate monitors that will help enhance cross-curricular instruction and assessment in our Physical Education classroom. Thank you, American Heart Association, for your support and for selecting our school for one of this year's awards!"

Jessica Watkins, physical education teacher at Benton Elementary, said she's excited to receive the grant because it will not only provide additional equipment for the students but will help her keep things organized to help maximize instructional time.

“I am blessed to have a large storage room for all my PE equipment. The problem is that it is also a catch-all for other items used by the school,” Watkins said. “I wanted to be able to organize the room and clean out the clutter. I was able to buy 3 carts to hold the balls and hockey equipment. When the students and teachers saw the carts and how much better the room looked, they were just as excited as I was.”

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 across the nation 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 that participated in the school-based programs in the 2022-2023 school year.

With a foundation set in physical activity, Kids Heart Challenge has expanded beyond the gymnasium 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 virtual mission components to learn life-saving skills like Hands-Only CPR™.

Funds raised by Kids 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 2023-2024 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, more than a million dollars has been granted to schools nationwide to support projects that make schools healthier.

To learn more about the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge and how to get involved, 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.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For Media Inquiries:
Afton Fairchild:
Kelli Kost: