Stroke Smart Schools Make a Meaningful Difference!

Schools are in the unique and POWERFUL position of offering generational benefits to the community as stroke smart students can and have saved lives by recognizing strokes and activating 911 (see below). The Council recommends each school begin their Stroke Smart efforts by educating the entire school body, including staff (in each classroom or in one big assembly). A Train the Trainer presentation for teachers and administrators is here. Each year thereafter, every fifth-grade class in elementary schools, or 9th grade class in high schools, could also be given the training to refresh and reinforce the concepts. Teachers may create their own content or use the any of the presentations on this website or the lesson plan outlines for K-4 grades here, for 5th thru 8th grades here, or for high school grades here. A comprehensive one page document with all these (and more!) resources is available here. We recommend each student be sent home with a letter (click here to download) to their parents on the day of the training, further sharing the life saving information. A useful study of the beneficial outcomes to a school based stroke education approach is here


News Stories involving Students Intervening to Save a Life During a Stroke

1) Belleville, Ill, 2016: Students, nurse save teacher who suffered a stroke.

The teacher said he started to feel numbness in his hand before falling to the floor. Fifth-grader Rebecca Bagby says she “sprinted down the hall like a cheetah” to the school nurse’s office when her teacher was in distress. Now in sixth grade, Whiteside Middle School students remember what happened and what they did to help their teacher Blair Russell who suffered a stroke while teaching math last May. Eight days later, Russell returned to his classroom to finish out the school year and, most importantly, let his kids know he was OK.


2) Lynn Haven, Florida, February 2021: Mosely High School sophomore Phoenix Croom, "is credited with saving his teacher’s life last Friday, when he noticed the alarming signs of a stroke. 'Like any other day, we were learning something new in class, and then they started talking incoherently,' Croom said on Thursday. 'They sat down and I had an idea that they might be having a stroke and so I googled the symptoms of a stroke and thy had almost all of them.' Further, "Croom said it’s important that when people see something wrong, they say something, even if it may seem embarrassing or awkward. 'Doing the right thing can be hard sometimes, especially if you think it will make yourself look bad,' Croom said. 'But it’s better safe than sorry.' The teacher was in the hospital for several days after the incident, even undergoing surgery. However, Bullock said doctors believe that teacher will be able to recover.


    3) Waukesha, Wisconsin, 2017: Katie Murphy, a 14-year-old, called an ambulance after she noticed her mother Christa  Murphy's speech had become muddled. "The student remembered her science teacher had told a story to help them recognise symptoms of the serious condition." Katie reported, "Her speech was all mixed up, [it didn't] make sense at all. Then I had gone back to that story and was like: 'Maybe she's having a stroke'," Katie told local news channel WISN.

   Reference: The news video may be seen here.

A Stroke Smart Lesson for Middle Schoolers in Alexandria, VA














 New 'Stroke Smart' students practicing their new knowledge.







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