By: Baylea Bruce @Baylea_Marie [Yearbook Editor]
More and more attention is being brought to the importance of healthy living. Schools are beginning to teach kids what it means to eat healthy, how to find healthy foods, and the importance of staying active.
Our very own school has started to take these actions, going as far as becoming the first school in the country to be Blue Zones certified. Mr. Chad Zrudsky, Associate Principal, headed the initiative to give Marion High School this honor.
While Marion has been recognized as the first school in the country, it’s technically the first school in the world. Zrudsky is very proud of this accomplishment.
“Blue Zones was important to the district because healthy living is important. We just wanted to make sure we were doing things to teach students healthy living,” he stated. “Not necessarily mandating but introducing alternatives. It also fits well with what our P.E. department focuses on.”
Blue Zones was a perfect fit for our school in more ways than one.
It was no easy feat becoming certified. There are many requirements a school must meet before receiving the title.
“There was a list of items the school got points for and we identified what items we thought we could do. We did things like second chance breakfast, snack cart, salad bar, and other things,” explained Zrudsky.
Senior Mahlia Brown helped out immensely with this project. “It was really rewarding and cool to see that the work we did made a difference and that our school was working towards making a difference,” she boasted.
All of the hard work finally paid off and has earned the school this prestigious title.
So what does it mean to be Blue Zones certified? Zrudsky explains that it is so much more than just healthy food and movement.
“They look at some of the healthiest communities in the world and some common themes they have. It’s about creating a group of support for healthier lifestyle and it affects quality of life,” he explained.
This creates more healthy options for students and community members. It’s also easier to do when most of the school is doing the same thing.
This amazing award will hopefully open more doors for not just the school, but the community.
“Our city will be designated a Blue Zones community. People will want to move here or bring a business here. It makes our community and school more attractive,” commented Zrudsky.
With Marion leading the way, hopefully more schools and communities will take the steps needed to become apart of the elite club of Blue Zones certified.