Wayland Academy is a Blue Zone

Wayland Academy is now an approved Blue Zones Project school and restaurant. From left, Tracy Rose, Joe Lennertz, Richard Krejcarek and Keith Hill celebrate the honors Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Wayland Academy received dual recognition as both a Blue Zones Project approved restaurant and a Blue Zones Project approved school in a private ceremony Thursday.

The cafeteria, which serves the public during special events, achieved its status late last spring and the school become the first boarding school in the country to receive this recognition, according to a news release from Blue Zones Project. Blue Zones Project is a well-being improvement initiative designed that encourages changes to environment, policy and social networks.

The basis of Wayland Academy cafeteria’s quest to become a Blue Zones Project Approved restaurant stemmed from its commitment to scratch cooking over the past 15 years, according to chef Richard Krejcarek.

Steps the cafeteria took include:

  • removing salt shakers from the tables
  • serving 100-calorie dessert portions
  • repositioning the healthier options, including Blue Zones inspired entreés, to the front of the service line

To become a Blue Zones Project approved school, Wayland Academy has incorporated nutrition education into daily lesson plans outside of health class and into weekend activities. Weekend mentor outings allow students to cook in mentor’s homes while social and emotional learning is incorporated into the school day. Seniors at Wayland also participated in a Blue Zones Project Purpose Workshop and student volunteers help give back to the community during the school’s “Day of Caring.”

Additionally, Wayland Academy utilizes an alternative athletic program to fulfill physical education requirements which requires students to participate in more than 525 minutes of physical activity every week. Students also participate in weekly mindfulness practice using Breathe for Change curriculum and social emotional learning guidelines.

For details about Blue Zones Project, call 920-342-2479, or visit dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com.