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On the Pandemic Frontline: Children, Families and Schools

nhs_btn_or_(2)Annual Day of Advocacy for Schools Has Never Been More Important
What will schools be like when children and staff return? Will facilities be safe and healthy? What lessons will carry forward from this experience?

 

National Healthy Schools Day (NHSD) participants will call attention to the unique opportunity presented by empty schools for administrators, teachers and staff, elected officials, and parents and community members. They can all do their part to ensure schools are safe and healthy when the time comes for children to return to their classrooms. Now is the time to address cleaning, disinfecting, delayed preventive maintenance, and other unexpected opportunities to improve our children’s schools.

This year, The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and scores of National Healthy School Day (NHSD) participants will disseminate important information and resources on cleaning, disinfecting, and catching up on maintaining and repairing schools -- using both in-house staff and local trades -- while children are out of the building. The same efforts can be targeted at childcare centers as well.

NHSD participants will urge Congress to support US EPA Proposed HealthySchools grants program and support Proposed Federal Funding: Rebuild America’s Schools Act. These will help schools and communities learn about healthy buildings and how to design and operate them, as well as provide long-term funding for major renovations and repairs. Schools play countless roles in their communities. Schools provide care for our children, they provide local jobs, and they offer public spaces and services as central hubs in our communities.

With most schools closed, this is the time to act for a healthier future. How can schools be healthier? What can facility workers do now to ensure fresh air, good lighting, less noise, clean water, and the use of green products all of which promote child health and education? How can local community partners, businesses, elected officials, and other leaders support and invest in schools to improve facilities and create jobs for local communities?

We can all do our part to keep our kids in a healthy learning environment.

On April 7, the 18th National Healthy Schools Day,  Tell your US Senator to increase the funding to EPA’s Healthy Schools Programs to $1 per child or $65M over last year’s EPA budget.

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