Tuesday, August 5, 2014



As the nation’s 55 million children and 7 million employees return to over 130.000 schools, the national Coalition urges schools and their communities to ensure that school facilities are healthy places for all children. Parents, personnel, and communities can help by sharing a Back to School Toolkit with schools and education departments. See http://www.healthyschools.org/coalitionactionkit.html

Said Claire Barnett, Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network and Coordinator of the Coalition,”Parents and communities can help. They can make sure children go to school with nontoxic supplies, that schools have good indoor air, and that they are using certified green cleaning products and safer disinfectants. These steps save money and promote better achievement.”   
“The science is overwhelmingly clear”, said Chip Halverson, ND, Portland OR, Healthy Schools Network Board President. “Poor indoor environemntal quality, even high carbon dioxide levels, will quickly undercut the performance of even the smartest, healthiest child.”  

“The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) and school nurses around the country are committed to promoting the healthiest school environment possible. School nurses, with a public health focus, are the health experts in the school and have the educational and clinical background required to understand the issues of environmental health in the school setting. We are pleased to join with Healthy Schools Network and others in advocating for sustainable healthy school environments.” www.nasn.org   Carolyn Duff, MS, RN, NCSN, President of NASN

Back to School Toolkit
resources include: Healthy Products for Healthy Schools, a guidance memo for finding healthier paints, computers, instructional supplies, and disinfectants; Green Cleaning, a tip sheet on prventing dirt and using green cleaners; IAQ/IEQ/IPM checklist, with simple steps for preventing molds and pests, and promoting good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ); and Tips for Tours, a fact sheet with pictures illustrating entries, custodial closets, and safer pest control elements, as well as other features to look for at school. Coalition members who collaborated to design the Toolkit are: Tolle Graham, Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health; Margaret Huelsman, Improving Kids Environment (Indiana); Michelle Neidermier, Penn State Extension (Philadelphia); and Joellen Lawson, Connecticut Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools.  

The Coalition represents some 150 organizations natonwide and reaches thousands of advocates in all the states. Coordinated by Healthy Schools Network, it has championed new funds and reforms to address the conditions of schools.
For more information about simple steps to reduce hazards at schools, to join the Coalition, or and sign up for twice-monthly free online news and policy conference calls, visit www.HealthySchoools.org/Coalition

Contact:         Claire Barnett, Coalition Coordinator, 202-543-7555

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