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SECC honored as Blue Zones Project-approved school

Vicky O. Misa

Blue Zones Project in Pottawatomie County recently announced Shawnee Early Childhood Center (SECC) has achieved designation as a Blue Zones Project-approved school, one of eight in Oklahoma. This approval comes because of school leadership working through the Blue Zones Project School Pledge — a menu of research-based action items, which enables school leaders to create an environment instilling healthy lifestyle choices.

A few of the ways SECC is impacting student well-being include:

• Integrating physical activity into daily lesson plans. Teachers noticed students grasp the content quicker when there was a physical component in the lessons.

• Students visit the Body Shop for 20 minutes a day. Students go to this room with their teachers to learn with exercise using motor skills.

• Implementing mindfulness programs such as Conscious Discipline. Conscious Discipline is a comprehensive emotional intelligence and classroom management system that integrates all domains of learning (social, emotional, physical, cultural and cognitive) into one seamless curriculum. It evolves from constantly asking, “Is there a better way?” and seeking the most current information provided by varied disciplines from neuroscience to mindfulness research to developmental psychology and beyond.

The school is placing a strong emphasis on healthy students and has a goal to continue to make healthy choices easier with the support of teachers, staff and parents.