Charity Featured Northern New England People

PROCON Joins AHA to Promote Healthy Hearts

Growing Health Hearts team at Gossler Park Elementary School

Manchester, NH –  Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and representatives from PROCON and the American Heart Association (AHA) attended an interactive jump rope demonstration at Gossler Park Elementary School (GPES) in Manchester performed by the AHA’s Hip Hoppin’ Hawks demonstration team of Londonderry.

PROCON sponsored the event as part of an ongoing partnership with the AHA’s “Growing Healthy Hearts” program that is running this school year at GPES and the Manchester Boys & Girls Club.

The Hip Hoppin’ Hawks perform.

The Growing Healthy Hearts program teaches students how to live healthier lifestyles. Focused monthly messages are distributed to the students and their families about valuable health topics, such as the importance of eating right, drinking water, the dangers of cigarettes and vaping, and the benefits of physical activity.

January’s jump rope demonstration sets up the program’s February focus, which is about the benefits of exercise.

PROCON owner Sally Stebbins attended the event along with family members. She remarked, “We hope to encourage children to live a healthy lifestyle, and with the help of their families, create a good foundation in their homes. I am happy to see kids learn and develop healthy habits that will last them a lifetime.” The Gossler Park Elementary School also has special meaning to the Stebbins family because Blanchard Stebbins built it in 1956.

Healthy habits start at a young age. The facts show that kids who are active have better bone health, physical fitness, brain function, attention, and academic performance. They also stay at a healthier weight and have fewer symptoms of depression.

In Hillsborough County alone, 25% of children live in “food deserts” without access to healthy food. In Manchester, 29% of adults are obese, which is higher than the New Hampshire average.

“Demonstrating fun and creative ways to stay active and eat well is essential in developing healthy habits at a young age,” said Craig. “I want to thank the American Heart Association and PROCON for bringing the Growing Healthy Hearts program to our students and for setting our students up for a healthier future.

In 2019, the Gossler Park Elementary School was named a Leader in Me Lighthouse School by Franklin Covey based on the program’s success at the school. With this in mind, the Healthy Hearts Program complements Leader in Me by focusing on developing strong leadership skills.

The Hip Hoppin’ Hawks is a demo team for the American Heart Association, and has performed at 18 schools in 10 school districts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts over this past school year. They help spread a message of healthy eating, exercise and living smoke free.