So it’s back-to-school time, which means that Clean Air Schools programs are gearing up to bring the pursuit of less traffic and cleaner air to the younger set. Since children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, the effort to improve air quality within school zones is an important one. But what does clean commuting look like in a school setting?
Actually, The Clean Air Campaign’s school programs are pretty similar to our employer and commuter tools. Where workplace commuters are encouraged to carpool, take public transit, and enforce No Idling, school commuters have Pool to School, Ride the Bus! for Clean Air, and…well, No Idling.
Last year, more than 300 Georgia schools participated in Clean Air Schools programs—giving an estimated 600,000 students, parents and teachers the chance to breathe better, cleaner air at school. And this year, we’re looking to promote student involvement and leadership, both in the existing programs and through a couple newer initiatives designed with younger leaders in mind.
One of those newer tools is Breathe Easy, a series of toolkits that guide elementary and middle school students through leading a No Idling, Pool to School or Ride the Bus program in their schools. Similarly, our high school Get There Green program charges student groups with developing a sustainable transportation plan that addresses the congestion and air quality issues in their school community. And the new online platform OnAir (blogonair.org), launched last spring, encourages teens to take individual action by allowing them to rack up “AirCreds,” points for air-friendly actions.
School programs offer the chance to help kids form clean-air habits early, habits we hope will stick with them throughout their lives. If you’d like to learn more, visit cleanaircampaign.org/schools or send us an e-mail at Schools@cleanaircampaign.org.
Note: Registration is now open for all Clean Air Schools programs, available for pre-K through 12th grade. Join us today!