The Hearty Kids Initiative is a Healthy NewsWorks project to promote heart health awareness for students in kindergarten through second grade.

It is being offered as a pilot project during the 2017-18 school year in seven classrooms at two Independence Mission Schools in Philadelphia—St. Martin de Porres Catholic School and St. Veronica Catholic School.

Hearty Kids expands on the Healthy NewsWorks program’s work with student journalists in grades 3 to 8, focused on building health awareness by producing accurate and relevant health publications and other types of media for their fellow students, families, and the wider school community.

The 5- to 7-year-old reporters involved in the Hearty Kids project will gather facts about heart health using newly created Healthy NewsWorks lessons and activities. Working with their classroom teachers and Healthy NewsWorks staff, the young reporters will help write and illustrate a “junior” section for each school’s respective health newspaper. They will also promote the newspapers in their schools and share them with their families.

Older student journalists who staff each school’s health newspaper will serve as mentors and role models for the younger students.

The Hearty Kids Initiative is supported in part by a generous grant from The Edna G. Kynett Memorial Foundation.