INDIANA — More than 150,000 elementary students in Indiana will be encouraged to “Be the Torch” for better health by a new cast of characters that are part of the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge campaign.
Eight heart heroes, characterized as dragons, each represent a positive trait that aligns with the school-based initiative aimed at improving students’ health while raising life-saving donations for the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives.
This year’s Heart Heroes are:
Frankie – Frankie, our tour guide, helps our heroes cruise through worldwide adventures by using good listening ears and respecting everyone’s ideas.
Hydro – Hydro makes sure to drink plenty of water every day and even helps clean up trash from lakes and ponds on weekends.
Marley – Marley loves moving to the music! Skateboarding, running, playing soccer, and helping in the garden are other ways Marley stays active.
Dream – Dream knows that sleep makes us all feel and think better and always tries to get at least 10 hours of sleep every night.
Hearty – Hearty’s torch brings light and warmth – a symbol reminding us all to be the Torch by being kind and helping others.
Breeze – Breeze loves to fly, enjoying how clean air feels on the face and in the lungs. Breeze does NOT like to breathe polluted air or secondhand smoke. Say NO to tobacco and vaping!
Finn – Finn loves learning about your heart and saving lives. He’s created Finn’s Mission so he can share what he’s learned with you.
Baxter – Being considerate of others’ feelings and opinions makes the world go round. Baxter keeps a gratitude journal and makes time for self-reflection every day.
These heroes will be intertwined into the Kids Heart Challenge™ campaign that engages over 350 elementary schools and 150,000 students in Indiana. Through the challenge, students will learn healthy habits including staying active, drinking water, getting plenty of sleep, and saying no to tobacco and vaping. They will also take part in online challenges that teach habits like kindness and gratitude.
“One of the most exciting parts about launching the Kids Heart Challenge every year is learning who the new Heart Heroes are going to be,” said Kathy Staton, the physical education teacher at Bunker Hill Elementary School in Franklin Township in Indianapolis. “It’s exciting to see our students connect with these characters, and the American Heart Association does an incredible job in bringing it all to life.”
The Kids Heart Challenge™ is rooted in proven science which has shown that kids who are regularly active have a better chance of healthy adulthood. In addition to improved physical health, the benefits of physical activity for children include better grades, school attendance, and classroom behavior. Physical activity can also help kids feel better, improve mental health, build self-esteem, and decrease and prevent conditions such as anxiety and depression.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health, and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.