RAMP Celebrates National Healthy Schools Day

April 11, 2011

RAMP is proud to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Healthy Schools Network, and dozens of other agencies and organizations across the county to co-sponsor National Healthy Schools Day and promote healthy school environments.  National Healthy Schools Day allow us to celebrate the efforts of advocates across the country who have worked to make their schools healthy for students, teachers, and staff and bring attention to the work that still needs to be done.

For many years now, RAMP and its partners have supported and worked directly on both educational and policy efforts to promote proper asthma management in schools and to reduce environmental asthma triggers at the local and state levels. Both asthma management and environmental protection are essential in the struggle against asthma.

RAMP recently showcased the wide variety of approaches at a February legislative briefing hosted with Assembly Member Julia Brownley, The California Endowment, and the California Teachers Association. The briefing covered a lot of ground, including steps schools and advocates can take to ensure proper asthma management such as a commitment to school nurses, asthma education for teachers and staff, and asthma management and action plans. For more details on the briefing, visit our website. More information and resources about clinical management — like RAMP’s Asthma in 15! tool – can be found here.

As for reducing environmental triggers, you can learn about three school district’s successful efforts to implement green cleaning practices in their schools in RAMP’s report, Breathing Easier: School Districts Make the Switch to Certified Green Cleaning Products.  We want to applaud the efforts of these districts and countless others, including asthma coalitions, Parent Teacher Associations, teachers, facility staff, school boards, students, and others in the school community who have improved indoor air quality in their schools.  Through the transition to certified green cleaning products, the implementation of the EPA’s Tools for Schools Program, and the use of integrated pest management, among others, these successes help keep students, teachers, and staff at school and at their best.

We know that schools continue to face challenges on all fronts, from budget cuts and aging facilities to achievement and class size.  That is why it is as important as ever to support schools in their efforts to ensure safe and healthy school environments.  To that end, RAMP developed a guide for advocates on how to work with their school district to improve indoor air quality by transitioning to the use of certified green cleaning products.  The report, Green Cleaning: A Guide for Advocates, can be found in the information and resources section of our website.

We invite you to take part in National Healthy Schools Day and join the many schools across the state and country that are already taking action to curb children’s, teachers’, and staff exposure to dangerous chemicals.  There are many resources available to help you get started, so start planning your actions for making your school a green and healthy school – every day!

For additional resources on green cleaning and maintaining healthy indoor air quality in schools see:

U.S. EPA’s Tools for Schools Program: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/pubs.html

Environmental Working Group’s Study: http://www.ewg.org/schoolcleaningsupplies/overview

Green Schools Initiative’s Green Cleaning Toolkit: http://www.greenschools.net/article.php?id=245