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Van Brunt Elementary becomes Blue Zones approved

Van Brunt Elementary School in Horicon was designated as a Blue Zones Project Approved school on Friday. Staff, students and families were on hand to celebrate. From left are Van Brunt Elementary School Principal Lisa Sawyer, Assistant Principal Cynthia Borgstrom, Horicon School District Administrator Richard Appel and fifth-grade teacher Nancy Keller.

KELLY SIMON/Daily Citizen

HORICON — Van Brunt Elementary in Horicon has been recognized as the newest Blue Zones Project Approved school in Dodge County. This designation reflects the school’s commitment and focus on not only building a stronger and healthier community, but also making well-being a priority for young learners to prepare them for a lifetime of better health.

“The Blue Zones Project initiative at Van Brunt is changing the culture of our school in a variety of positive ways. We are bringing awareness to healthy choices for our students including being active, eating right and being mindful,” Assistant Principal Cynthia Borgstorm said.

Van Brunt Elementary enhanced the school environment by removing unhealthy advertising and vending machines. They also incorporated Go Noodle brain breaks into classroom time. Students made their own homemade pizza through a Kids in the Kitchen class, providing an opportunity to gain a hands-on understanding of food. Meanwhile, parents were given ideas of non-food alternatives, activities and other recognition for classroom birthday celebrations.

In addition, the school wellness team chose to make this the year to incorporate a school fun run as a school fundraiser. The fundraiser was a huge success, creating a positive and healthy way to move naturally for students.

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. The initiative was brought to Dodge County through sponsorship by Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state.

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.

For information about Van Brunt Elementary School, part of the Horicon School District, call 920-485-4423.