WEST CHESTER — The West Chester School District has no shortage of “hearts” as the district’s philanthropic efforts raised more than $106,000 in the 2021-2022 school year to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA).

Kathy Baver, AHA’s youth market director, said the West Chester School District is the most popular fundraising district in Chester County, along with Delaware and Philadelphia counties.

“The West Chester School District has had a major impact on the American Heart Association. During the time we’ve been working together, the funds raised have resulted in 34,874 potential life savers,” Baver said.

WCASD’s partnership with the AHA began in 1998. To date, the county has raised nearly $1.8 million.

“We are very excited to have such a supportive neighborhood like West Chester. Their volunteers champion our program and their families give so much to a cause that touches so many. I am so fortunate to be able to work with WCASD to bring our program to life year after year,” Baver added.

Donations to the AHA were raised through the Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge events held at area elementary and middle schools. In addition to supporting the overall mission of the AHA, fundraisers help students understand the importance of giving back to others through heart-healthy physical activity.

Teresa Devono, AHA’s Eastern States Vice President of Youth Markets, also shared her appreciation for the partnership. “We appreciate the county’s support of our mission by educating our youth, families and community about the importance of heart health. Together, we encourage exercise, healthy eating, tobacco/vape free living, and the importance of social and emotional well-being. We extend our sincere appreciation to the educators who join us as part of our Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge programs,” said Devona.

Glen Acres and Hillsdale Elementary Schools are among the top 25 schools in the Eastern States region for AHA fundraising, a designation that spans 13 states. After raising nearly $40,000 last school year, Glen Acres Elementary was ranked 2nd in the Eastern States Region and 1st in Chester County.

“We are so grateful to our staff, students and families,” said Superintendent Bob Sokolowski. “They continually demonstrate that our community has a big heart and finds creative ways to both learn important lessons and give back to others.


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