JUNEAU -- Following the walkathon May 24, students, staff and faculty gathered to celebrate Dodgeland Elementary in Juneau being recognized as the newest Blue Zones Project Approved school in Dodge County. This designation reflects the school's commitment to teaching students healthier habits they can carry with them for a lifetime.

"Building a culture of wellness in schools is no small task, but every child deserves a healthy school and programs like Blue Zones Project aim for long-term success," said Tracy Rose, organization lead for Blue Zones Project Dodge County.

Dodgeland Elementary's Wellness Team has been focused on serving the needs of the students through healthy eating habits, movement, and mindfulness. Administration, teachers, parents, community members, and fellow students have made the commitment to wellness by incorporating many new practices into their daily routines.

At Dodgeland Elementary, all cafeteria beverages and vending machines meet USDA Smart Snacks guidelines. A fruit and salad bar is offered daily. Through the efforts of their food service director, Dodgeland has implemented 70-80% from scratch cooking. Dodgeland Elementary also received a grant from the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and purchased a healthy snack cooler. They have fifth-grade students in charge of selling the snacks in the morning before school starts. Snack are 25 cents and are supplied by the food service department.

Walking School Buses have been incorporated at Dodgeland for six-week periods in both the fall and spring semesters; community members have made the commitment to help get the students to school safely by walking with them. The city of Juneau is also participating in the Safe Routes to School Program. Dodgeland Elementary's Walkathon achieved its fundraising goals without using the sale of food items.

All elementary classrooms incorporate mindfulness either through Class Dojo or the Second Step Program. Each student has an app on their iPad called "Stop, Breathe, Think" where they can self-reflect and follow a short guided meditation to meet their needs.

Taking part at the ribbon cutting celebration was Linda Klinger, representing Beaver Dam Community Hospital.

"We want to congratulate all of you and your hard work and your teachers and everybody at Dodgeland Elementary School on behalf of Blue Zones Project and BDCH," said Klinger.

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

For information about Dodgeland Elementary School, part of the Dodgeland School District, call 920-386-4404.

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