(Horicon) The Horicon Junior-Senior High School is the newest Blue Zones Project-Approved school in Dodge County. The school earned the designation because it has a wellness team that meets regularly with district leadership to develop school well-being initiatives.
During the school year, most students eat at least one meal a day at school. Horicon’s Junior-Senior High School follows the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Scorecard, which applies research-based principles that enhance the lunchroom environment and lead children to make healthy choices when provided with the full spectrum of choice. For example, students are more likely to eat healthier when posters and signs in the cafeteria advocate for healthy food choices, multiple fruit and vegetable options are available daily, and food service staff encourage healthy choices to students. Additionally, all vending and cafeteria offerings for beverages meet the USDA Smart Snacks guidelines. Vending machines promote water consumption or have healthy neutral messaging, and water bottle filling stations are provided throughout the school.
In addition to the 230 hours of physical education provided each week, teachers are now encouraged to add movement into daily lesson plans. Natural Resources Management and Ecology classes use a 40-acre outdoor ecology site for hands-on learning. U.S History teaches students about opposing sides and complexity of historical conflicts through tug-of-war. AP Psychology assigns discussion of different psychological perspectives to students through a game of musical chairs. Nutrition and Wellness Classes, Growth and Human Anatomy Courses, Horticulture and Intro to Agriculture Classes, and Pastry Baking and Arts Classes are all incorporating Nutrition Education into daily lessons. In Physical Education, students participate in a variety of lifestyle focused and functional fitness activities such as self-defense, yoga, Frisbee Golf, line dancing, and cross-country skiing with the goal of having each student find at least one physical activity they enjoy and can do for the rest of their lives.
Horicon Junior-Senior High School has a state recognized school garden program where students from various classes and FFA grow plants and produce in the garden and greenhouse. Some plants are sold with money going to sustain the program while others are planted and the produce that is harvested is used in the cafeteria, sold at the farmer’s market, or used in classroom curriculum where students taste-test the produce.
Superintendent Rich Appel says he wants Horicon to be the best school possible both inside and outside the classroom and the Blue Zones Project is trying to help students and staff to live a better and healthier life.
Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthier choices easier by encouraging simple changes to environment, policy, and social networks.
For details about becoming a Blue Zones Project Approved organization or for general information about Blue Zones Project Dodge County, call 920-342-2479, or visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.