Initiative makes healthy choices easier for students, employees
FORT WORTH, Texas (Oct. 24, 2018) – Fort Worth Independent School District is making the grade when it comes to well-being. With 12,000 employees and nearly 88,000 students, Fort Worth ISD is the largest school district in the country to become a Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksite.
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative making healthy choices easier in cities across the country, including Fort Worth. Working with municipal leaders, neighborhoods, employers, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and faith-based organizations, Blue Zones Project helps optimize the environment for well-being. From moving naturally and eating with a plant slant to having a sense of purpose and downshifting to relieve stress, principles are patterned after lifestyles in Blue Zones® areas—pockets of the world where people are most likely to reach age 100 and beyond.
Many FWISD employees have gotten involved in the initiative. Meanwhile others are serving as Blue Zones Project ambassadors, sharing information and modeling well-being.
“Blue Zones is making a real difference when it comes to the health and happiness of our residents, and I’m proud to lend my support,” said Superintendent Kent P. Scribner. “What’s happening benefits families today and lays the groundwork for better well-being for generations to come.”
To become Blue Zones Project Approved, Fort Worth ISD completed the Blue Zones Worksite® Pledge, adding to its existing wellness program. Changes include forming a well-being advisory committee, hosting plant-based cooking demonstrations, and supporting walking and standing meetings, among other best practices.
In addition to becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved worksite, 33 Fort Worth ISD campuses are Blue Zones Project Approved schools—organizing Walking School Buses, incorporating movement into lessons throughout the day, adding more fresh produce to the lunch menu, and teaching children downshifting techniques. Students are even leading efforts as Blue Zones Project junior ambassadors.
“Healthy behaviors and academic success go hand in hand,” said Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth. “We also know that if we want our communitywide efforts to be sustainable, we have to engage the next generation. That’s what we’re doing in Fort Worth ISD.”
Throughout Fort Worth, more than 300 businesses and organizations have joined the movement to better well-being, while 87,000 residents have taken the Blue Zones Personal Pledge or gotten involved in a Blue Zones Project activity. Fort Worth is expected to be certified as a Blue Zones Community® by the end of the year.
About Blue Zones Project
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to a city’s environment, policy, and social networks. Established in 2010, Blue Zones Project is inspired by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author who identified five regions of the world—or Blue Zones® regions—with the highest concentration of people living to 100 years or older. Blue Zones Project incorporates Buettner’s findings and works with cities to implement policies and programs that will move a community toward optimal health and well-being. Currently, 46 communities in 10 states have joined Blue Zones Project, impacting more than 3.3 million Americans nationwide. The movement includes three beach cities in California; 15 cities in Iowa; Albert Lea, Minnesota; the city of Fort Worth; and communities in Southwest Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a partnership of Blue Zones, LLC, and Sharecare, Inc. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.