Pictured above: parents help their children to learn about cardiovascular diseases and how to prevent them through class resources provided by HeartSmart Kids.
About 2,000 children in Saskatchewan have learned how to take care of their health and prevent cardiovascular disease, thanks to a Healthy Horizons Foundation grant to Heart & Stroke Foundation.
HeartSmart Kids is a Heart & Stroke program designed to provide classroom resources and tools to support students and families in their quest for a healthy and active life, free from heart disease and stroke. The program addresses all facets of cardiovascular health from a prevention perspective. It provides support to teachers of Indigenous children and youth, is offered to elementary-level students from grade 1 to 6, and includes grade-appropriate information and resources to make an impact on students and families with the tools they need for long, healthy lives.
“Lives are changed because of the financial support from Healthy Horizons Foundation. Your funding has empower children and youth to live long healthy lives and embrace positive habits. These resources are moving beyond the classroom and impacting the families of the children who get these books,” said Derek Newman, Philanthropy Officer for Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northwest Territories. “In a time where COVID-19 has created additional stressors we are grateful to stand with Healthy Horizons and know a difference has been made. We look forward to a continued partnership to improve the health and well-being of more youth and children in your communities across Canada and empower a generation together.”
Due to the pandemic, students and teachers moved to at-home learning and the Heart & Stroke Foundation had to quickly adapt the HeartSmart Kids program to a digital platform to ensure the teachers, students and their families have access to heart-healthy resources from both school and at home. During the 2020-2021 school year HeartSmart Kids program was carried out in 38 schools in Saskatchewan and provided classroom resources to 1,950 students.
“The kids enjoy the colour activities, the fact that they get their own workbooks to take home, the recipes and the easy way the book is formatted allows them to be successful and independent,” said a Grade 4-6 teacher in Saskatoon, SK.