Duncan Creek Elementary School took top honors in Gwinnett as the winner of the 2019 American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. PE Teacher Dayna Alkire was runner up last year and was glad to see her kids stepped up to take this year's first place prize. COURTESY OF GWINNETT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Gwinnett schools raise funds for healthy hearts

In the annual American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge, 56 Gwinnett County elementary schools raised  $215,667.

The Kids Heart Challenge focuses on whole body wellness, helping students improve their own health and better their character while raising life-saving donations for the AHA to help kids facing heart-health issues. 

Students also are encouraged to use the Kids Heart Challenge App to be kind, be active, or be prepared for the duration of the event. This is done to encourage children to create heart-healthy habits that will stick with them, and create healthy conversations at home with their parents and guardians. 

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Duncan Creek Elementary School took top honors this year by raising nearly $16,000. In second place was Simpson Elementary which raised more than $14,000. Brookwood Elementary came in third, raising nearly $13,000. 

Dr. Tasha Guadalupe, Gwinnett County Public Schools director of health and physical education, and representatives from the AHA made surprise visits to the 10 schools that raised the most money. Those schools were awarded a plaque recognizing their efforts in the Kids Heart Challenge.

When the group visited Duncan Creek, PE teacher Dayna Alkire knew right away what they were there for.

With a wide smile, she accepted the school’s plaque.

“The American Heart Association is very special to me because we actually had a student that went here many years ago and he has since passed away from heart issues. So I feel very passionate about this program,” said Alkire.

Annually, the American Heart Association recognizes the top 10 schools in Gwinnett County for their outstanding performance in the Kids Heart Challenge event based on participation and donations. 

Top 10 Gwinnett Schools in the Kids Heart Challenge 

School                                            Money Raised

Duncan Creek Elementary    $15,815.45

Simpson Elementary              $14,491.20

Brookwood Elementary        $12,672.38

Suwanee Elementary             $10,284

Freeman’s Mill Elementary   $9,875.91

Rock Springs Elementary      $9,300.19

Harbins Elementary                 $8,403.02

Sycamore Elementary             $8,003

Cooper Elementary                   $7,428.25

Mulberry Elementary                $6,855.88 

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