Blue Zones Project® Pottawatomie County announced that it is organizing a Walking School Bus Challenge! To help grow healthy kids, and a healthy community, Shawnee Mayor, Richard Finley, has joined with the organization to challenge our schools to walk to Japan (6,137 miles) - home of our sister city (Nikaho) and an original blue zone (Okinawa). The school with the most participation will receive $1,000 thanks to the Mayor! Students that participate 6 or more times during the challenge will earn a free entry to the Bell St. Retro Arcade thanks to their generosity. There is even a chance for parents that participate to win a prize!

A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school under the supervision of trusted adult volunteers. Walking School Buses operate much like a traditional school bus with “stops”, where children are “picked up” and walk together to school. The program provides students with a safe route to school, extra physical activity and the opportunity to make new friends. It also decreases traffic congestion around schools and reduces tardiness.

Why are Walking School Buses great for kids and communities?

Increased physical activity

Improved student academic performance

Elevated social skills

Shared sense of community

Decreased traffic near school site

Watch for more information in the coming weeks as the challenge begins the week of September 9.

Want to get involved? Blue Zones Project is encouraging parents, local worksites and other supporting organizations to partner with schools by providing volunteers to lead the bus. If you are interested in participating, reach out to taylor.shekarabi@sharecare.com to find out how you can help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Volunteers will be subject to background checks, provided with free training and need to make a scheduled commitment.

To learn more about Blue Zones Project, 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.