Region 4 Children's Health Activities
Providing parents, teachers and communities with the information they need to help protect children from environmental hazards is a top priority for Region 4 Children's Health. Recent activities include Children's Health Month, Environmental Awareness Day, and the Environmental Health Excellence Awards.
Each October EPA hosts and participates in a variety of activities aimed at promoting healthy environments for children. The observance of Children’s Health Month has resulted in Region 4 significantly increasing its outreach and educational activities to help eliminate and mitigate environmental hazards adversely impacting children. These activities, which include conferences, health fairs, exhibits, and environmental educational activities at elementary and middle schools, have been conducted in all eight states in Region 4 reaching over 10 million students
Environmental Emphasis and Awareness Day at the Coretta Scott King
Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYLA)
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson was joined by Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection Director Dr. Peter Grevatt, F. Allen Barnes, Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Elder Bernice King, along with a number of partnering organizations including Mothers and Others for Clean Air, the Captain Planet Foundation and the Georgia Clean Air Campaign, to participate in a program at the Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy (CSKYWLA) to help promote awareness about environmental issues that adversely impact children’s health.
EPA and the Academy also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the first of its kind in the region. Through this MOU, EPA will work with its partners to provide guest lecturers and project demonstrations and assist the school with their science and math program though volunteer tutors, student mentors, and professional development sessions. The school will also be provided with opportunities to incorporate voluntary programs to help maintain a healthy, safe and green environment.
Other event highlights included a flag raising ceremony for EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) flag program and a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new community garden dedicated to the memory of Coretta Scott King. The program included an assembly for the students with numerous environmentally focused activities throughout the day.
Girl Scouts Environmental Awareness Badge DayIn support of EPA’s commitment to Children’s Health, Region 4, in collaboration with the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council developed and hosted Environmental Awareness Badge Day during Children’s Health Month in October. In 2005, EPA received the local Girl Scout Daisy Award and the National Trefoil Award, the highest award that an outside organization can receive from the Girl Scouts of America.
This event has led to support the development of the Environmental Awareness Day Event Tool Kit. The toolkit was distributed to all EPA regions and to all Girl Scout Councils.
Break the Cycle of Environmental Health Disparities
The Break the Cycle projects are collaborative research programs that encourages university students supervised by faculty mentors to conduct research related to the reduction or prevention of disease and disability on children who grow up in environmental circumstances of social and economic disadvantage. These children are more likely at greater risks for adverse health and developmental outcomes. Students presented their research at a symposium help increase our understanding of the needs and intervention strategies to “Break the Cycle” of children’s environmental health disparities. Their research papers have been published in the International Journal of Child and Adolescent Health.
Symposium on Safe and Healthy School Environments
Children spend a significant amount of time in one environment – school. They need a safe, healthy setting in which to thrive, lean and succeed. This program is designed to assist in making this a reality. The Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) with the support of EPA Region 4 and ATSDR, hosted this Symposium to learn how to create a safe and healthy school environment in the community, gain knowledge from national experts in healthy school environments, and to improve proficiency through on-site training workshops. Access to these educational videos and more can be found at www.sph.emory.edu/PEHSU
Climate Change Education and Outreach Campaign
This campaign focuses on educating young people about climate change and its affect on children’s health and encouraging youth to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EPA Region 4 staff conducted education programs at 24 schools and participated in several conferences reaching over 11,000 people.
As part of the Earth Day Climate Change Education Campaign, EPA volunteers visited middle and high schools to provide education programs on climate change and children’s health and encourage students to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control signed to be a Climate for Action Partner to promote this campaign. For more information on EPA’s “Climate for Action” campaign, please visit our website.
Environmental Health Excellence Awards
The Children’s Environmental Health Awards are designed to increase awareness, stimulate activity and recognize efforts that protect children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national and international level. To check the status of this year's awards and to see lists of past winners, click here.