The kids have been back in school for a while now, in our house that means I’ve gained scheduling skills that I would put up against any logistics specialists. In the midst of keeping everyone’s schedules straight, there is also making sure healthy lunches are packed, our kids are getting in the shower on a regular basis, getting homework done and getting the sleep they need. We all do our best to make sure that within the busyness of our lives we are providing a healthy environment for our children while instilling in them the habits that will keep them and our planet healthier in the future.
But what about when they are at school? I know that I have concerns about the ingredients in our school lunches, the cleaning chemicals that are used in the school, our local air quality and so on. One of the organizations that helps me stay up to date on the issues facing our schools is the Healthy Schools Campaign.
What is the Healthy Schools Campaign?
The stated mission of the Healthy Schools Campaign is “to ensure that all children have access to healthy school environments where they can learn and thrive.”
From the site, “Policy change is essential to ensuring a healthy school environment. Everything from the air children breathe to the food they eat at school is shaped by policies at the national, state and local levels.”
What do they do?
The Healthy School Campaign educates teachers, parents, students and community members about issues that impact the health of our schools. The organization also advocates for policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment.
On their site there are a bunch of free resources ranging from tip sheets to model policies and reports all designed to support efforts to make healthy changes at schools. These include:
Parents’ Practical Guide for Healthy Schools
Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education and Connection with Nature
Ingredient Guide for Better School Food Purchasing
Just one example of an amazing outcome as a result of the efforts of the Healthy School Campaign, Chicago recently became the first school district of its size to serve chicken raised without antibiotics as part of the school lunch program. That’s huge.
One of my favorite projects of the Healthy School Campaign is the ongoing effort to use non-toxic cleaning products and protocols at schools. This helps not only our students but everyone at the school and ultimately our planet. The information about the Green Clean Schools program can be found at http://greencleanschools.org/.
What can you do?
The most important thing is to be informed about issues facing our schools. Visit the Healthy Schools Campaign and read up on the National issues facing our schools. Get involved with your school’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association) or your local government and let your voice be heard.
“I’m motivated by the opportunity we have to make a difference for kids today and to transform our system for future generations.”
For more information, visit https://healthyschoolscampaign.org.