On the pandemic frontline: Annual day of advocacy for schools has never been more important
What will schools look and feel like when students and staff return? Will facilities be safe and healthy? What lessons will we carry forward from this experience?
This National Healthy Schools Day (NHSD) is an important opportunity to raise awareness and ensure schools are safe and healthy when the time comes for students to return to their classrooms. Now is the time to address cleaning, disinfecting, delayed preventive maintenance, and other unexpected opportunities to improve our K-12 schools.
This year, NHSD will pay special focus on the need to improve indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ in schools has been a matter of concern for a long time. Mold, pollutants, toxics, elevated CO2 levels, and other health threats are consequences of poor air quality and inadequate ventilation. With better IAQ, teachers and students can stay in school longer every week.
In addition to raising awareness aorund IAQ, Green Schools National Network and scores of other NHSD participants will disseminate important information and resources on cleaning, disinfecting, and catching up on maintaining and repairing schools – using in-house staff and local trades – while students are out of the building.
NHSD participants will also urge Congress to support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Healthy Schools grants program and proposed federal funding through the Rebuild America’s Schools Act. These will help school communities learn about healthful buildings and how to design and operate then, as well as provide long-term funding for major renovations and repairs. Schools play myriad roles in their communities. They provide care for our children, they provide local jobs, and they offer public spaces and services as central community hubs.
Now is the time to act for a healthier future. 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?
On this National Healthy Schools Day, let’s act together for a healthier future!
For more, contact NHSD Coordinator Alex Naidoo at firstname.lastname@example.org
A complete list of NHSD information and related activities will be available the week of April 5, 2021 for action all week long and into the spring.