Halle Heart Museum

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We’ll take you on a tour of the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe, a place where kids can learn about heart health in fun ways.

TED SIMSONS: One in every eight kids in Maricopa County is obese. Poor diet and lack of exercise are just a few of the reasons. Now a new museum devoted to heart health and kids is opening its doors. Producer Shana Fischer and photographer Ed Tworek take us to the Holly-Heart children's museum in Tempe.

VIDEO: The Holly-Heart children's museum is serving up valuable lessons.

VIDEO: The museum has eight major exhibits. They are all themed a little bit differently.

VIDEO: The exhibits are all interactive which Len Guttman of the American Heart Association says is key in getting a young audience's attention.

VIDEO: And it's really a world-class facility in terms of children's museums. And you know, the interactive part really gets the kids engaged, they are moving around a lot with the exhibits, pushing buttons, reading things off the walls and jumping up and down. It makes a big difference.

VIDEO: Rather than just tell kids about the dangers of smoking the museum uses the game of miniature golf. The tunnel mimics the arteries of a smoker and a nonsmoker. They understand it's easier hitting the ball through when the water is wipe open.

VIDEO: For these kids it's the first time they are learning about their hearts and how they work and how to keep them working. For 15-year-old Emory Miller being heart smart is a way of life.

VIDEO: When I was little I was faced with a lot of challenges with my heart. I was born with a hole in my heart and severe problems. I've had numerous surgeries.

VIDEO: Emory visits frequently and shares his story with the guests.

VIDEO: When I'm able to come here and see the kids having a great time and enjoying themselves it's like I'm getting a card that says thank you for everything you've done.

VIDEO: The museum was created in 2011 by a group of community leaders including discount tire owners, Diane and Bruce holly. Seeing how decisions can lead down the path to heart disease is best illustrated with a trip to the museum's supermarket.

VIDEO: Kids are challenged to select heart-healthy food to buy. Guttman says it's eye-opening.

VIDEO: I sort of preach healthy eating in and outside my job. Frankly for me that's the fun part, watching the kids have aha moments when they scan the fried taquitos and realize that's their fat allowance for the entire day. They are going home and making parents throw things out of the fridges.

VIDEO: If Guttman sounds passionate about his work here, he has a good reason.

VIDEO: I'm really lucky, three years ago I suffered a heart attack at 45. I never thought that would happen to me. And it sort of inspired me to make a big difference in my life, not just in my own health but in making a career change in coming to work for the American Heart Association. I did that last year and it's been really rewarding for me.

VIDEO: And rewarding for the kids, as well. These are lessons that will last a lifetime.

TED SIMONS: For more information check out the museum's website at hollyheartchildren'smuseum.org.

VIDEO: We want to hear from you. Submit your questions, comments and concerns via email at [email protected].
TED SIMONS: That is it for now, I'm Ted Simons thank you so much for joining us, you have a great evening.
Video: Captioning Performed By LNS Captioning www.LNScaptioning.com

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