BARNUM, Iowa, Jan. 25, 2023 — The American Heart Association’s school-based youth programs, Kids Heart Challenge™ and American Heart Challenge™, awarded $2,500 to Manson Northwest Webster Elementary in Barnum to help fund the purchase of a climbing wall. The annual grant program supports schools by funding resources to extend school wellness programs.

The American Heart Association, devoted to world of healthier lives for all, is helping educators make whole-body wellness a priority by bringing more resources to school campuses. 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.

Manson Northwest Webster Elementary is one of just four 2022-23 mid-year grant recipients in the country. The grant recipients include:

  • Manson Northwest Webster Elementary School in Barnum, Iowa - $2,500.00 for a climbing wall.
  • Burns Elementary School in Burns, Wyoming - $2,500.00 for playground and sidewalk educational activity stencils.
  • Leverett Elementary School in Fayetteville, Arkansas- $2,057.00 for basketball equipment and resources.
  • Richlands Elementary School in Richlands, Virginia - $2,375.00 for new gym technology.

“The addition of a climbing wall will allow our students to participate in activities that help foster a lifetime of fitness,” said Bret Larson, Manson Northwest Webster Elementary Principal. “In addition to working multiple muscle groups and improving balance, endurance and flexibility, climbing activities encourage teamwork and cooperation among classmates. The addition of a climbing wall will also allow us to incorporate cross-curricular activities such as reading, spelling and mathematics.”

The climbing wall is part of Manson Northwest Webster’s “Climbing to Better Fitness” project. Once complete, the climbing wall will be part of the physical education unit and be available for classroom activities.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,[1] only 20% of kids get enough activity to meet physical activity recommendations. 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[2].

In addition to 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[3].

Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge offer 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’s curriculum 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.

Participating schools can submit the grant application to participate in the 2022-2023 school year. The final deadline for applications is May 31, 2023. The annual Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge grant programs accepts applications twice a year, mid-school year and year end, to provide resources in real time to students. Applications that did not get funded in the December funding will be rolled over for consideration in May. Grant recipients 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 learn more about the American Heart Association’s kids initiatives, or to make a donation, please 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, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

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


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

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

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