Blue Zones Project® in Pottawatomie County today announced that Shawnee High School (SHS) has achieved designation as a Blue Zones Project Approved™ School, one of only five in Oklahoma and the first high school in the state. This approval comes because of school leadership and a student committee working through the Blue Zones Project School Pledge – a menu of research-based action items, which enable school leaders to create an environment that instills healthy lifestyle choices both today and for years to come. SHS began making improvements for their student’s well-being two years ago but crossed the finish line thanks to a huge push from their students. The completion of the Blue Zones Project School Pledge reinforced the well-being focused culture.

A few of the items Shawnee High School is implementing to impact student well-being include:

Electing two student representatives from each grade to participate on the School Well-Being Committee.

Starting Wolfpack Walks a lunchtime walking program in the PAAC

Hosting Parent University and inviting community families to learn about all components of well-being from finances to cooking skills.

Hosting purpose workshops to help juniors and seniors identify their strengths and how they can use them every day.

Incorporating physical activity and nutrition education into lesson plans outside of PE and health classes.

Installing multiple gardens that will be maintained by the garden club and special education students. 

One creative component of the High School’s Validation story is their Blue Zones Day and contest. The student committee wanted a day to teach their peers about well-being. One statement that stuck with them was that they were the first generation to have a projected life expectancy shorter than their parents. They felt it was their role to provide a game that showed all aspects of what makes up our life expectancy and provide cooking demos for an easy to make, budget friendly and healthy meal to the entire student body. Nearly 1,000 students were impacted over the course of the day and 6 of their 62 points were completed by students who participated in the event.

The school and district place a strong emphasis on the well-being of their students and look forward to continuing to make healthy choices even easier with the support of teachers, staff, students and parents.

Brought to Pottawatomie County through an innovative sponsorship by the Avedis Foundation in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC, Blue Zones Project is a community-by-community well-being improvement initiative designed to enable community members to live longer, happier lives with lower rates of chronic diseases and a higher quality of life.

Based on principles developed by Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author of “The Blue Zones” and “The Blue Zones Solution,” Blue Zones Project is designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to the built environment, policy and social networks.

To learn more about Blue Zones Project, contact the Blue Zones Project team in Pottawatomie County at 405-585-8817, or visit www.bluezonesproject.com.

About Avedis Foundation

Avedis Foundation is a private foundation with 501 (c) 3, nonprofit status, established in Oklahoma in 2012. Avedis seeks to measurably improve the health, wellness and quality of life for the people of Pottawatomie County and its surrounding communities. Avedis Foundation supports projects that directly benefit people from the communities we serve, particularly those projects that support overall well-being for any age group. For more information, visit avedisfoundation.org. 

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®—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, 42 communities in nine 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, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Blue Zones Project is a division of Sharecare. For more information, visit bluezonesproject.com.

About Sharecare

Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile, where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive life. With award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.