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"J. Paul Till, Director, Information Department"
334 613-4313

BIRMINGHAM Every elementary school in Alabama soon will have HeartPower!, thanks to a $77,000 donation from Alfa Insurance.

HeartPower! is a powerful teaching tool that the American Heart Association (AHA) has developed to motivate children to keep their hearts healthy for a lifetime.

Alfa's donation will enable the AHA's Alabama affiliate to place in each of the 1,395 public and private elementary schools in the state a HeartPower! kit that is jam-packed with hands-on materials aimed at helping youngsters learn how their heart works and how diet, exercise and living tobacco-free all play vital roles in maintaining a healthy heart.

"We at Alfa are extremely excited about HeartPower!, and we're convinced that making these fun, teacher-tested kits available to elementary school teachers and students statewide will help make Alabama a heart-healthier place," Alfa Executive Vice President Ken Wallis said. "It is an investment that should realize tremendous returns in terms of saving lives and lowering the costs of treating heart disease."

Cardiovascular disease is the nation's No. 1 killer, claiming more than 925,000 lives a year. Another 60 million Americans have some form of heart or blood vessel disease. Research shows, however, that many habits that help prevent heart disease are easiest to establish in childhood, Dr. Louis Dell'Italia, president of the AHA Southeast Affiliate, said.

"By helping children understand and practice the value of a balanced diet, physical activity and living tobacco-free, we can greatly reduce the incidence of heart disease," Dell'Italia said.

Each HeartPower! kit includes entertaining videos and audiocassettes, colorful posters, engaging books and even a couple of authentic stethoscopes, for use in hands-on demonstrations.

Alfa and the AHA officially launched the statewide HeartPower! program in Birmingham Feb. 16. The AHA will begin distributing the kits to schools soon.

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