ARLINGTON, VA, August 23, 2022 — For over 43 years, the American Heart Association (AHA) has helped prepare kids for success by supporting their physical, mental, and emotional well-being through the Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge.

Now more than ever, it takes an extraordinary commitment to support students’ overall health. The AHA recommends children age 6 to 17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, but less than one-quarter of today’s youth are meeting this benchmark. Furthermore, fewer than 10% of kids are following a healthy, nutritious diet, and carrying extra weight during childhood poses serious health risks into adulthood.

Given the vital role these early years play, the AHA’s school initiatives assist educators in ensuring all students can grow to reach their full potential.

In Maryland, 217 schools partnered with the AHA to leverage our learning resources and physical education activities in the classroom. During the 2021-2022 academic year, over 16,000 kids accepted the challenge to be kind or move more, and many shared resources with their families to learn Hands-Only CPR, recognize the signs of a stroke, or help their loved ones get active.

Collectively, Maryland schools raised over $1.6 million to help save and improve lives across the globe, and those raising at least $1,500 received direct givebacks to benefit their students. Check out our report card to see your impact this year, and shoutout to our top 10 participating schools and local ambassadors (doc)!

Schools interested in participating in either Kids Heart Challenge or American Heart Challenge can learn more online or contact for more information.

For Media Inquiries:  
Rachel Stevenson, Communications Director,