Community Impact Challenge helps local students Move More

MLK Elementary

The American Heart Association is making it easier for kids to be Healthy for Good. During the last few weeks of the school year, the American Heart Association donated recess equipment to 29 schools across Central and Northern New York and the Southern Tier.

Kits included items like basketballs, jump ropes, frisbees, and more. Kit donations were made possible by local companies raising money in the Community Impact Challenge. The program challenged participating companies to raise at least $2,500 more for the 2019 Heart Walk than their teams raised the year before.

Calvin Coolidge

Teams that completed the challenge include:

  • Barclay Damon
  • BatesTroy
  • DC Building Systems
  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • The Hartford
  • Hillrom
  • Lourdes | Ascension
  • Matthews Auto Group
  • Murnane Building Contractors
  • National Grid
  • St. Joseph’s Health
  • UHS
  • Windsor Central School District
Cape Vincent

The Community Impact Challenge is part of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, which focuses on four pillars to improve health for all Americans – Move More, Add Color, Eat Smart, and Be Well. Research has shown that if children are overweight by their 12th birthday, there is a 70% chance those children will be overweight for the rest of their lives. By providing extra recess equipment, the Community Impact Challenge can help kids Move More and teach healthy behaviors early in life.

Recess kits were delivered to the following elementary and K-8 schools:

  • Mohawk Valley
    • MLK Elementary, Utica
  • North Country:
    • Cape Vincent
    • Lyme
  • Southern Tier:
    • Benjamin Franklin, Binghamton
    • Calvin Coolidge, Binghamton
    • Johnson City, Binghamton
    • Thomas Jefferson, Binghamton
    • Ann G. McGuinness, Endicott
    • Charles F. Johnson, Endicott
    • George F. Johnson, Endicott
    • Homer Brink, Endwell
    • A. Olmsted, Harpursville
    • Carl E. Adams, Whitney Point
    • Tioughnioga Riverside Academy, Whitney Point
    • Bell, Windsor
    • Palmer, Windsor
    • Weeks, Windsor
  • Syracuse:
    • Bellevue
    • King
    • Weeks
    • Franklin
    • HW Smith
    • Meachem
    • McKinley-Brighton
    • Porter
    • Salem Hyde
    • Seymour Dual Language
    • Van Duyn
    • Westside Academy at Blodgett
Van Duyn

“Both healthy and unhealthy habits are formed young,” said Franklin Fry, American Heart Association executive director in Syracuse. “This equipment can help kids create a habit of physical activity. We are proud to be able to make this kind of impact on our community.”

In addition to the recess kits for schools in the Syracuse City School District, each student in five elementary schools received a special summer activity kit, thanks to the Growing Healthy Hearts program. The activity kit included a jump rope, water bottle, stress ball, healthy summer pledge, healthy lifestyle tips and more. The five schools participating in the Growing Healthy Hearts program are Dr. Weeks, Franklin, Porter, Seymour and Van Duyn.

The Growing Healthy Hearts program is a collaboration between the American Heart Association, sponsor St. Joseph’s Health, the Syracuse City School District and other community groups including the Onondaga County Health Department and the Transforming Communities Initiative. The program focused on educating both kids and families about healthy lifestyle choices.

“Our students and staff were thrilled to receive this equipment from the American Heart Association,” Superintendent Jaime Alicea said. “In addition to recess, our students receive 120 minutes of Physical Education each week. These donations will go a long way in engaging students in physical activity and encouraging them to keep moving and stay fit. Studies have shown that kids who are physically active tend to have better grades, attendance and classroom behavior – so we appreciate that the American Heart Association and other community partners remain committed to helping our students achieve success!”