FWISD Becomes Nation’s Largest Blue Zones Project Approved School District
Fort Worth ISD is the largest school district in the country to become a Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksite. The designation was officially announced at FWISD’s Board of Education meeting, Tuesday, October 23.
Superintendent Kent P. Scribner and Board president Tobi Jackson led trustees in ringing bells to celebrate the achievement. Matt Dufrene, vice president of Blue Zones Project, Fort Worth, presented Dr. Scribner and President Jackson with a banner and framed certificate recognizing the District as a Blue Zones Project Approved™ worksite.
Blue Zones Project® is a community-led well-being improvement initiative that works in select cities across the nation. Partnering with municipal leaders, neighborhoods, employers, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and faith-based organizations, Blue Zones Project helps optimize a sense of purpose and to ease stress through principles patterned after lifestyles in Blue Zones® areas—pockets of the world where people are most likely to reach age 100 and beyond.
“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,” Dr. Scribner said. “What’s happening benefits families today and lays the groundwork for better well-being for generations to come.”
To become Blue Zones Project Approved, FWISD 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. Many FWISD employees have gotten involved in the initiative. Meanwhile others are serving as ambassadors for Blue Zones Project. Ambassadors, such as Director of Athletics Dr. Lisa Langston, share information and model well-being.
“In the course of my day, I get up and walk outside, get some fresh air and come back in. Everyone sees me doing that,” Dr. Langston said. “It’s something I recommend to everybody in the office.”
Students are also benefiting from Blue Zones Project, as FWISD organizes Walking School Buses, incorporates movement into lessons throughout the day, adds more fresh produce to the lunch menu, and teaches children stress-relief techniques. More than 30 FWISD campuses are now Blue Zones Project Approved schools.
“Healthy behaviors and academic success go hand in hand,” Mr. Dufrene said. “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 400 businesses and organizations have joined the movement to better well-being, while 87,000 residents have taken the Blue Zones Personal Pledge or participated in a Blue Zones Project activity. Fort Worth is expected to become a certified Blue Zones Community® this year and will mark its accomplishments with a free community celebration from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 10 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. For more information, visit LiveLongFortWorth.com.
View more photos from the recent board meeting here.