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Healthfirst and American Heart Association Fight Childhood Obesity with Teaching Gardens Program in Queens

PS 155 Students Learn About Healthy Eating Through Hands-On Gardening

 

NEW YORK, NY, June 5, 2013 – Healthfirst and the American Heart Association launch the American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Program at PS 155 in South Ozone Park, Queens. The educational initiative teaches children how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and ultimately understand the value of good eating habits.

 

On Wednesday, June 12 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, PS 155 students will launch the Teaching Gardens with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony.  After planting their seeds, students will celebrate with a health festival open to the public on school grounds. Children in attendance will receive free face painting, a cooking demonstration from Healthfirst corporate partner and founder of Veggiecation, Lisa Suriano, and vegetable tastings. Adults will also receive free health screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose conducted by Park Health Center.

 

A main goal of the initiative is to reduce childhood obesity rates while instilling in children the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. The PS 155 Healthfirst and American Heart Association Teaching Garden combines nutrition education with garden-based learning to promote the consumption of more fruits and vegetables by children. Studies show programs like this encourage healthy behavior and lead to positive attitudes towards healthier eating.
 

“We are honored to extend the Teaching Gardens program to the borough of Queens based on the tremendous success of our existing gardens in the Bronx and New Jersey,” said Susan Beane, MD, Healthfirst Vice President and Medical Director. “Showing children the benefit of a healthy lifestyle at an early age serves as the first step to eradicating childhood obesity.”
 

For more information about the Healthfirst and American Heart Association Teaching Gardens program, please visit www.healthfirst.org and www.heart.org/teachinggardens.
 

About Healthfirst

Established in 1993, Healthfirst is a not-for-profit managed care organization that offers low or no-cost health insurance to eligible individuals and families living in the New York metropolitan area and New Jersey. It provides a variety of government-sponsored health insurance programs, including New York State's Child Health Plus, Family Health Plus, and Medicaid, as well as Medicare Advantage. The Healthfirst family of companies includes Healthfirst in New York, Healthfirst NJ in New Jersey, and Senior Health Partners (SHP), a managed long term care plan serving Medicaid-eligible clients in New York City. For more information, visit the company's websites at www.healthfirst.org and www.healthfirstnj.org.

 

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit www.heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.

 

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Contact:

Laura Vialva

212-801-1451

718- 764-3517 (mobile)
LVialva@healthfirst.org