Categories: General
      Date: Apr  7, 2014
     Title: Little Action Steps Can Fix Big Problems on National Healthy Schools Day

National Healthy Schools Day (NHSD) on April 8th reminds us how important it is to provide our children with a quality education in safe, environmentally friendly learning environments. Your school can make a difference, by taking some healthy school actions and letting other MA schools know about them! MA Asthma Advocacy Partnership (MAAP) will be recognizing schools that take action for NHSD at the MAAP Spring Summit in June 2014 when the 2015-2020 Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Asthma will be introduced.

 



Little action steps can fix big problems on National Healthy Schools Day

National Healthy Schools Day (NHSD) on April 8th reminds us how important it is to provide our children with a quality education in safe, environmentally friendly learning environments. Poor indoor air quality in schools, however, contributes to worsening of respiratory problems like asthma and contributes to school absenteeism. Studies prove that healthy indoor environments do in fact help children learn and behave better.

Your school can make a difference too, by taking some healthy school actions and letting other MA schools know about them! MA Asthma Advocacy Partnership (MAAP) will be recognizing schools that take action for NHSD at the MAAP Spring Summit in June 2014 when the 2015-2020 Massachusetts Strategic Plan for Asthma will be introduced.

 

For more information contact:  Tolle Graham, MAAP Healthy Schools Chair, MAAP tolle.graham@masscosh.org , 617-825-7233 X19.

 

Some short term healthy school actions you can take immediately include:

  1. Keep food in the classroom to a minimum and create a “crumb- and spill -free” plan for your classroom. Store extra food in a lid tight container.  Have a designated trash can for food garbage because crumbs and liquids attract pests. Report signs of pests in the school’s integrated pest management (IPM) log.
  2. Organize a Clean-up Day to reduce classroom clutter such as a storage area or paper and old classroom projects you aren’t using. They collect dust and harbor pests. Include students in clean-ups activities and recycling to promote school pride and environmental stewardship.
  3. Report water leaks as soon as they appear. Mold can grow if wet places don't dry within 48 hours. Most schools have a work order system to report and track needed repairs.
  4. Read your schools annual environmental audit report and include healthy school actions steps into the school’s Wellness Committee plan.

Some Healthy Indoor actions that need more planning could include:

  1. Phase in certified green cleaning products to reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals (link to MA EPP).
  2. Dispose of old-outdated and hazardous chemicals to reduce the risks of spills and injuries.
  3. Annually update the school’s IPM plan (integrated pest management) with the least toxic approach to reducing pest problems.
  4. Take advantage of renovation and construction projects to include “green school” design and advanced energy efficient lighting and ventilating systems. These can also result in operations savings as well as improved health in the long-term.
  5. Add Healthy School Environmental actions steps to your school Wellness Policy. See an example from the Boston Public Schools updated policy here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B5XW_RQDmW_0NzhzMVMtVG1WNkU&usp=sharing&tid=0B5XW_RQDmW_0eFFZTEtERVIzbVU

For more information contact:  Tolle Graham, MAAP Healthy Schools Chair, MAAP tolle.graham@masscosh.org , 617-825-7233 X19.