More than 330,000 middle school students in low-income areas learned CPR during the last school year through a nationwide American Heart Association program supported by Ross Dress for Less.
One middle school near each of the more than 1,100 Ross Dress for Less stores received a free CPR in Schools Training Kit if at least half of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Teaching materials and 10 inflatable manikins allowed each kit to train hundreds of seventh-grade and eighth-grade students at each school during the 2014-2015 school year.
Teachers at qualifying schools also had access to AHA online resources, volunteer mentors and CPR in Schools staff.
Students’ knowledge about CPR and how to perform it improved, with students on average getting half of questions correct on a pre-test compared with 84 percent correct on a post-test. Nearly every teacher who participated — 99 percent — said they would do the program again.
During the 2015-2016 school year, an additional 250 high schools will receive two free CPR in Schools Training Kits. The grant application deadline is Sept. 30.
Hispanics and African-Americans are 30 percent less likely than whites to receive bystander CPR, according to research. And the odds of someone in cardiac arrest receiving bystander CPR in a low-income African-American neighborhood is 50 percent lower than in a high-income white neighborhood.
The program is expected to train more than 1 million students in CPR, according to AHA estimates.