Learn to Save a Child’s Life with new online CPR and First Aid Class

18 Apr


In schools, we have a plan for fires, severe weather, and other emergencies. They’re routine and practiced. But what if disaster strikes in a way we’re not ready for?  With more than 9.2 million children being treated by emergency departments for injuries, being able to respond quickly and effectively is an essential skill for anyone who cares for an infant or child.

We’re excited to announce that now everyone can be ready to save a life with the American Heart Association’s new online training on first aid and resuscitation.

Using real-life scenarios and interactive lessons, the self-paced, two-and-a-half-hour course teaches people to manage infants’ or children’s medical emergencies until professional help arrives. It covers critical skills for treating:

  • allergic reactions
  • asthma
  • bleeding and bandaging
  • cardiac or respiratory arrest
  • choking
  • diabetes and low blood sugar
  • drowning
  • dehydration
  • head, neck, and spine injuries
  • seizure
  • temperature-related issues


Elementary Teacher Saves 5 year old’s Life after Collapse at School

CPR in schools continues momentum

Stand with Parents! Tell the USDA You Support Eliminating Junk Food Marketing in Schools.

3 Apr

prevent obesity

Kids spend most of their time in schools — so doesn’t it make sense that we work to make sure the school environment is the healthiest it can be?

Numerous studies have shown that when kids are healthy, they perform better in school. That’s why we were thrilled when the USDA implemented stronger nutrition guidelines for school meals — and we are excited to see them do the same for snacks and drinks, too!

But did you know the food environment in school isn’t just limited to the food and drinks sold on campus? Right now, food companies market unhealthy food and beverages to students in a variety of ways at school, from posters in the hallways to displays on the vending machines to branded educational materials.

For example, two-thirds of elementary schools offer incentive programs that give kids coupons to fast food restaurants for completing academic work. All told, companies spend about $150 million every year marketing directly to students in schools!

That undermines parents who want to instill healthy habits in their kids. It also sends the wrong message about good nutrition to our nation’s young people.

Students spend more than 1,000 hours in school each year. That time should be spent learning and building educational habits, not being targeted by unhealthy marketing.

Fortunately, the USDA is now taking steps to ensure all schools become healthier places to learn. Raise your voice and let them know you support this important effort!

Study Finds that School Gardens Help Kids get Active

25 Mar


Great news! A recently study by Cornell University found that school gardens help kids be more physically active. By the end of the study, kids at schools with gardens were moderately physically active at school for 10 more minutes a week than before their schools had gardens. That is four times more active than children at gardenless schools! What’s more, children who gardened at school were substantially less sedentary at home and elsewhere outside of school.

The researchers found that on average, children sat for 84 percent and stood for 10 percent during a typical indoor class. However during garden lessons, kids moved about much more, sitting for only 15 percent of the time, with the majority of their time spent standing, walking and kneeling.

Read more about this study and check out the American Heart Association’s recommendations for physical activity in children.

Spring into Action: Western States Edition

18 Mar

Our Western States affiliate is wasting no time getting back into the garden. Kathy Rogers, American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Executive Vice President shared this story on her blog The WSA Exchange.

Though you might not know it from some of the crazy weather going on around the country – spring has definitely sprung in the Western States in the form of Teaching Gardens. Santiago Elementary School became home to one of 12 Teaching Gardens in Orange County, CA, provided with funding support from The California Endowment. Students, parents and teachers worked hand-in-hand to build planter boxes, fill them up with soil and plant vegetable and fruit seedlings — including strawberries, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce and a variety of herbs. Each school is funded for three years during which they are preparing to be self-sufficient to maintain a sustainable garden.

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Kids at Crestwood Elementary in Las Vegas, NV, also got their hands dirty while planting and learning about health. On hand to help were School Principal Jackie Richardson, Chair of the Teaching Gardens Executive Leadership Committee; Aurora Buffington of the Southern Nevada Health District; Las Vegas division Board of Directors member Judah Zakalik, along with faculty and community members. It looks like a good time was had by all!

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Click here to continue reading about the great heart healthy happenings in the Western States!

Kelly Meyer Nominated for Real Food Innovator Award

12 Mar

Special congrats to our fearless leader and co-founder, Kelly Meyer on her nomination for the United States Healthful Food Council’s Childhood Nutrition Food Innovator award. REAL Food innovator awards celebrate leaders in the promotion of healthful and sustainable foods.  Join us in wishing Kelly good luck in the comments! Go Kelly Go!



Other nominees include:

  • Diane Schmidt, Founder, Healthy Fare for Kids
  • Shazi Visram, Founder and CEO, Happy Family
  • Chef Tyler Florence, Co-founder, Sprout Foods
  • Catherine McCord, Author
  • Dr. Alan Greene
  • Chef Jamie Oliver
  • Kirsten Tobey and Kristin Richmond, Founders, Revolution Foods

Congrats to all these nutrition warriors! Thank you for fighting to make our world happier and healthier.

Kale Yeah!

7 Mar

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Have you ever tried Kale chips? Third graders at Garfield Elementary in Long Beach, CA used produce from their teaching garden to make this crunchy healthy snack.  Classes harvested the kale, washed leaves, shredded , mixed in seasoning, and prepared them for the cafeteria oven.  120 students participated and enjoyed tasting kale!

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How to Make Kale Chips:

  • Wash and dry leaves with a towel
  • Tear into bite-sized pieces
  • Drizzle with a little oil and black pepper.
  • Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes until crispy.

Read more about the health benefits of kale. 

Winter To-Do List

28 Jan

winter garden

We know you’re already working on all these, right? But just in case Mother Nature doesn’t feel like warming up anytime soon, you better  add these garden tasks to your to- do list.

Plan ahead

Cold, dark winter days are the ideal time to start planning your spring garden.  Choose the plants you would like to grown with your students and create a planting calendar to guide you through spring.

If You Build it…

Get the garden ready for spring. When the weather permits, winter is a great time to dive in to infrastructure projects for your Teaching Garden. Building or repairing planter boxes now leaves more time for growing later! So roll up your sleeves and tackle that bird bath or tool shed that you’ve been hoping to add.


A compost pile allows you to recycle food scraps and create fertile soil for the garden. Get started over the cool months to make sure you have plenty of healthy soil for your new seedlings.

Photos & Video

Be sure to use the flip camera provided with your Teaching Garden to take pictures and video of your students in action and submit them to teachinggardens@heart.org

Jot it down

Keep the garden going during winter with the Teaching Garden Journal. Have students track the weather, make plans for spring or share a favorite recipe.

Survey Time!

We want to see your growth, but we need data measure it.

For schools new to the Teaching Gardens program, make sure that you have filled out and submitted your Pre-Survey. Gardens in their second cycle after completing a harvest should have completed the Post Survey.



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