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Echo Canyon School at SUSD achieves coveted Blue Zones designation

Echo Canyon campus strives to make environment healthier for all
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Found part of the Scottsdale Unified School District — Echo Canyon School — is making the community healthier and setting the bar for other schools in Scottsdale as it was just announced it has achieved Blue Zones status.

The Blue Zones recognition marks a milestone in the school’s commitment to foster a culture of well-being and healthier choices, Blue Zones representatives tell the Digital Free Press.

Through partnership with the Blue Zones Project, the Echo Canyon School has implemented various initiatives aimed at enhancing the well-being of their students, staff, and families, officials there say.

“From incorporating gardening activities connected into their curriculum at all grade levels to promoting physical activity into daily lesson plans, we are dedicated to creating an environment that prioritizes the health and happiness of our school community,” Kat Hughes, principal of Echo Canyon School, said in a prepared statement. “Additionally, our curriculum incorporates lessons on mindfulness, stress reduction techniques, and social connection, empowering students with the knowledge and skills to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.”

Ms. Hughes says the journey toward Blue Zones certification has been transformative at Echo Canyon School.

“Through collaboration and dedication, we have cultivated a supportive environment that encourages healthier choices and positive lifestyle habits among our students and staff,” she said.

Public schools continues to play a critical role in helping kids make smart decisions about eating right and staying healthy, according to Danielle Anderson, organization & well-being lead at Blue Zones Project Scottsdale.

“Echo Canyon School has been fully engaged since our early conversations, as they already had extensive programming focused on promoting healthy living,” she said. “Their commitment is evident through initiatives such as their community garden and the Chef in the Classroom program with Blue Watermelon Project. This initiative connects students with local chefs who teach them the process of growing food from scratch and preparing nutritious meals using their own produce.”

Blue Zones Project provides school leaders with access to programs and policies to educate students about healthy living.

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