Every school district I have been employed with has had a partnership with the American Heart Association. Every year, typically in the spring, students work to raise money for the AHA with a culminating activity of jumping rope or shooting hoops. Even with a name change in the recent years, the Kids Heart Challenge as it is known now has a stronger than ever partnership with schools districts across America is stronger than ever.

But I’ve always wondered: what is the Kids Heart Challenge really about? Where does all the money raised really go? What other kind of supports and resources are available for classroom teachers? What is this partnership with OPEN all about? And what kind of magical moments are being created with students? These were all questions I had for this episode of Anchored in Education. My guest this week is Jennifer Chaney, Director of the Youth Market in Southern Illinois and Southeast Missouri for the American Heart Association. Jennifer gives us the inside scoop on Kids Heart Challenge.

Jennifer Chaney

Jennifer is an encourager at the heart of all she does. She is passionate about helping others use their talents, stories, experiences, hopes and dreams to make the world a better place even in the smallest of communities.  

As a Youth Market Director with the American Heart Association she is responsible for connecting with schools throughout Southern Illinois, Southern Indiana and Southeast Missouri to implement Kids Heart Challenge and other custom health and wellness strategies focused to prevent heart disease and stroke in given population while also funding important research resulting in advocacy work and creating new surgeries and procedures for those living with Heart Disease and Stroke. 

When she isn’t working, you’ll find Jennifer leading a women’s Bible study in her home, she is active in teaching school-aged children in her church, hiking with her daughter and an avid runner enjoying the beautiful outdoors Southern Illinois has to offer. And when she can squeeze it in, she speaks at women’s conferences and retreats.

Resources from this episode: