Children's Health Projects
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- Lead Outreach
- Healthier Philadelphia Girl Scout Day
- Walk to School Day
- Working With a Migrant Community
- 2008 Earth Day Contest
A health fair arranged by Senator Shirley Kitchen's office was held at the R.W. Brown Community Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Represented at the health fair were:
- National Nursing Centers Consortium
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Congreso de Latinos Unidas
- HOPE Worldwide , and
- Philadelphia Department of Health
Free blood lead level screening was conducted and there were workshops relating to asbestos, asthma, lead, and pesticides.
EPA and a number of partners (such as the City of Philadelphia, US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Pennsylvania) have sponsored Environmental Health Days at the Philadelphia Zoo and the Franklin Institute . Thousands of Girl Scouts and their families participated in a variety of interactive activities on lead poisoning, indoor air quality, second-hand smoke and integrated pest management to learn about these issues and earn environmental badges.
International Walk to School Month is October, the same as Childrens Health Month. To celebrate, EPA co-sponsored a Walk to School Day event at York Elementary School in Lansdale Pennsylvania. This event encouraged walking and biking to school which reduces air pollution and offers respiratory benefits to children.
The Migrant Clinicians Network conducted a project on Virginia's Eastern Shore called Mi Casa Es Su Casa. Funded by EPA's mid-Atlantic Region, MCN partnered with a local migrant Head Start program to recruit and train 6 "promotores de salud" on children's environmental health issues. These promotores then educated approximately 400 farmworker parents about 4 environmental topics:
- indoor air quality/asthma triggers, and
MCN developed an in-home needs assessment and trained the promotores to conduct these assessments. About 76 in-home needs assessments were conducted and education and training were provided as appropriate. The most notable accomplishments through the needs assessment was the gained knowledge and changed practices from the analysis of pre/post test - 63% reported changes in bathing practices and taking off their shoes before entering homes thus minimizing exposures to their children. MCN developed a short video and radio dramas on the subjects: pesticide safety, pest control in the home, water and sanitation, and indoor air quality/asthma triggers.
This contest challenged 3rd to 6th grade classes to reduce their class’s environmental footprint. Students were required to:
- assess their daily activities and how that impacts the environment/climate change
- explore what changes they could make to reduce their environmental footprint, and
- implement changes for at least 14 days and report on the estimated savings to the environment
Pledges were received from 132 students. The winning project was from:
5th Grade Class
Hillside Intermediate School
Bridgewater, New Jersey
The 22 students decided to reduce the carbon footprint of their class and school by recycling and eliminating the use of single use water bottles. The students sent “messages in a bottle” to teachers and students about the importance of recycling plastic containers. These messages were sent using single use water bottles and paper that had been collected for recycle. The students developed a design for a school water bottle that is Bisphenol-A (BPA) free that could be used instead of the single use water bottles. These school water bottles were sold to students and teachers to use in place of single use water bottles. New water bottles were also sold at a school festival where the students manned a booth to educate the community on the impact of plastic containers and importance of recycling. Proceeds from the school water bottle sales were used to buy recycling bins for the playgrounds and soccer fields where bottles were currently being thrown away.
The class reduced the amount of single use plastic water bottles they were using by an average of 80% (or 120 lbs for the month) resulting in savings of 26 gallons of gasoline and one barrel of oil!
The goal is to have almost 100% reduction in single use water bottles by the end of the school year. They also reduced the amount of plastic going to the landfill by placing recycle bins on the playgrounds and fields for public use. Because of this project the class realized they could make a difference in their classroom, their school and their community through education and providing an alternative. The students will continue the project to hopefully obtain as close to 100% use of water bottles. This project was innovative, sustainable, and collaborative with great results for protecting the environment.
The second place project was from 4th graders from:
Germantown Friends School
They looked at their food choices and reduced their carbon footprints by switching to food that minimized the dependence on fossil fuels. The project led to the formation of a 4th grade Environmental Action Club. Read more...