National Healthy Schools Event
School environments play an important role in the health and academic success of children. The 12thAnnual National Healthy Schools Day was April 8, 2014, occurring during Public Health Week. This year, the CT Department of Public Health-led CT School Indoor Environment Resource Team (CSIERT), a consortium of over 23 agencies and organizations that assists schools to implement and maintain the EPA Tools for Schools (TfS) program in the state, sponsored an event to highlight how CT schools have successfully worked to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ.) The event was held at Amity High School, part of the Regional 5 School District, 25 Newton Road in Woodbridge. Amity High School and other schools in the district had multiple IAQ problems and received much negative media coverage several years ago. The Amity District, with great leadership from the business manager, facilities director, administration and others, turned the situation around using TfS, and subsequently won two prestigious national Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awards. Amity Region 5 is now known as a leader in comprehensively addressing school indoor environmental quality problems. Speakers from the Region 5 school district, the EPA, and the CT Department of Public Health addressed the actions the district took to improve their school environment by using the TfS program. In addition, a Special Recognition Award was given to John Laudano, a sanitarian from the Quinnipiack Valley Health District for his exceptional support to the schools in the implementation of TfS. Event attendees and media representatives were invited to a walkthrough of the school, to view how the actions taken resulted in major improvements in the indoor air quality at the high school.
This event demonstrated how federal, state and local health can work together with the school team to bring about change and create a healthier indoor environment. Dedicated and involved local health staff can make a difference!