Highlands Elementary Raising Record Amount for American Heart Association

Kids Heart Challenge

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) The Kids Heart Challenge (KHC) is a national American Heart Association program where scholars raise money for heart health and research.

In the past, the event has been associated with jump rope, basketball or large motivational pep rallies.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the KHC set-up is different.

There are no special events associated with it, due to social distancing protocols, but the goal is still a fundraising effort.

Highlands Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Candice Galloway oversees the campus’ KHC program. She’s in her fifth year as Highlands’ PE Teacher and set a fundraising goal of $300.

The scholars have doubled that goal, raising $600. And Galloway is extending the fundraising period into the first week of March, due to the winter storm in February.

“The scholars are really excited to donate, and they understand what it means,” Galloway said.

Most Successful Year So Far

“This has been our most successful fundraising year so far.”

For every $5 donation, a scholar receives a different toy – such as a dog or a duck – with messages that encourage hydration, physical activity, healthy diet and anti-smoking.

One scholar has donated $100, and another has contributed $90.

“I tell them that you’re not just buying a little toy, your money is going to help research for kids who have a heart that requires medical care,” Galloway said.

Galloway also teaches a lesson about the heart, how blood flows and the importance of staying active and eating healthily.

“Some kids are donating their own money, and for others, their parents are donating,” Galloway said.

Approximately 70 percent of Highlands scholars are attending in-person classes, but Galloway said she’s had to adjust the way she teaches PE, in a COVID-19 world.

“I’ve had to get creative as far as equipment,” Galloway said. “We didn’t play basketball this year, but we did soccer, because there’s no hands allowed. We ensure that we wipe down the equipment that we have, and we regularly use hand sanitizer. The delivery of what I do that hasn’t really changed, that’s just the activity part.”