Kids for Heart Challenge

It’s official! With the Stratford Schools that have already started the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge this year, Stratford has officially crossed the $1Million mark with lifetime donations! Did you hear that? Yes, that is 1 MILLION DOLLARS, and counting, raised for the American Heart Association by our Stratford students, families, and staff through a generous partnership over the past 17 years.

It all started in 2004 when Stratford teacher Dawn Ellner first inspired the effort to raise funds for the American Heart Association through what was originally known as the Jumprope for Heart Challenge (now known as the Kids for Heart Challenge).

“This amazing accomplishment is a true testament to our culture of care at Stratford School.  What started out as a way to support one of our teachers, who had a personal experience with heart disease, has blossomed into a widespread outpouring of care within our school communities.  I could not be more proud of our students, staff, and families for supporting this great cause.  We continue to connect the head with the heart within our school communities!” ~ Sherry Adams, Stratford School Founder
Neel Accepting an Award from the American Heart Association

Over the years, the American Heart Association has also given our students a priceless gift through their efforts to start thinking about their health, and the health of others — at an early age — when it has the greatest impact on them. Our students love participating in all the fun Kids for Heart Challenge activities that help them keep their own hearts and brains healthy. Plus they learn how good it feels to help others with special heart needs. 

Many of our students have been inspired to continue their fundraising efforts beyond their days at Stratford, including Neel Sudhakaran, a graduate of Stratford Middle School. Having raised over $85K for the organization on his own, Neel is now a Youth Representative for AHA. Through his dedication, Neel has become an inspiration to all of us at Stratford with his continued commitment to help others. He is a true leader and embodies the spirit of community giving that we, at Stratford, work to instill in all of our students.

This million-dollar milestone is just one of many more to come as we continue to raise funds to create a healthier world for all of us. We are proud to play a small role in the American Heart Association’s 100-year history of fighting heart disease and stroke, striving to save and improve lives, now and in the future. Join us in our community giving efforts, sign up with your campus to give today, or visit to learn more.