Maui Teachers Lead by Example

Ashley Leahey
August 16, 2017

Schools play an integral role in our community — from educating our keiki to providing services for the community. Blue Zones Project® is grateful for all the schools throughout Hawaii helping to raise a generation that will live happy, long lives!

Blue Zones Project has identified policies and programs schools can pursue to support student well-being. The more schools implement, the more they can optimize their school environment for better physical, emotional, and social health so students can excel in the classroom. And teachers in Central Maui are leading by example. Before students flooded the halls, Maui High School, Baldwin High School, and Wailuku Elementary School staff took part in a Blue Zones Project activity.

Wailuku Elementary School staff voluntarily participated in a Purpose Workshop. This group of over 50 teachers, library and security staff, and principals spent two hours in reflection and shared stories and inspiration. Erin Brennan, a fifth grade teacher, expressed her excitement after the workshop, “I loved it because it was a great way to kick off the school year with inspiration and a positive outlook!”

In addition, 275 staff members from Baldwin and Maui High Schools took part in the Blue Zones Story and signed a pledge to help create happier, healthier community and schools. As they work toward becoming Blue Zones Approved, the schools expressed excitement for this welcome change for the 2017-2018 schoolyear. They’re planning all types of fun, healthy activities for the year, including BYOB (Bring Your Own Blue Zones) lunches!

Want your child’s school to become a part of Blue Zones Project? Here are a few benefits:

  • Evidence-based strategies to help children grow up to be healthier, more productive members of society.
  • The implementation of Blue Zones Project policies and programs increase student engagement and excellence in the classroom.
  • Healthier students earn higher test scores, have higher attendance rates, and tend to be better adjusted and socially connected.
  • Educating entire families about how to improve well-being.
  • Access to Blue Zones Project marketing collateral for classrooms, cafeteria, and hallways to support well-being efforts.
  • Recognition for being part of an important community-wide project to improve well-being.

Want to learn about how Blue Zones Project works with schools in Hawaii? Email us at or visit Like us on Facebook (@bluezonesprojecthawaii) and Instagram (@bzphawaii) too!

Ashley Takitani Leahey is the  Statewide Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project – Hawaii and is responsible for strategic marketing and PR as well as providing support for the efforts of the community teams. Ashley received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing and a minor in Studio Arts from Loyola Marymount University. Upon returning to Hawaii, she completed her Executive MBA degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa while working as the Marketing Innovation and Project Development Manager at Sae Design. Ashley is now making great use of her experience and education to raise awareness for the importance of well-being in her home state. After being introduced to Blue Zones Project and its impacts, she energetically championed the effort in her hometown of Wailuku to bring the initiative to Central Maui. An active community member on numerous non-profit boards and co-owner of local boutique, Maui Thing, Ashley loves to spend her free time outdoors. Whether its tending to her dahlias in the garden or hanging at the beach, she loves her Vitamin D! She’s also obsessed with yoga (for a great at-home yoga sesh, check out, arts and crafts, HGTV’s Fixer Upper and her chocolate lab!

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