“The week is designed to help Georgia schools educate their communities about the benefits of cleaner transportation methods like bus riding, biking, walking, carpooling and no idling—and to spark change on a group level,” said Gretchen Gigley, director of education for The Clean Air Campaign. “These options contribute to reducing the vehicle tailpipe emissions that are so damaging to children’s lungs. Through events like this, we hope to make Georgia schools safer and healthier for students and teachers alike.”
The Clean Air Campaign and Georgia Safe Routes to School are also teaming up during Clean Commute Week to promote walking and biking as green transportation options. Georgia Walk to School Day falls within Clean Commute week on March 5. Schools are encouraged to choose one or more green travel methods to promote throughout the week. Resources from Georgia Safe Routes to School can be found in the Clean Commute Week toolkit, available online at CleanAirCampaign.org, along with other resources, tips and fun activities for schools. BAIR, the Clean Air Bear, will make surprise visits to a number of schools during the week.
Schools that participate in Clean Commute Week will qualify as Clean Air Schools at the two-star level. The Clean Air Schools “star” system, introduced at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year, seeks to recognize Clean Air Schools participation at different levels and celebrates the efforts all schools make toward educating their school communities about clean air, health and the environment. Schools receive a ranking of one to four stars, based on their involvement in Clean Air Schools programs. Two-star schools are recognized for generating student awareness of air quality issues on campus through participation in at least one of four activities: Clean Commute Week, Air Quality Awareness Week, Young Lungs at Work Art Competition and Air Quality Lesson Plans.
Georgia schools or parents interested in receiving Clean Commute Week resources or learning more about the Clean Air Schools program can visit CleanAirCampaign.org/Schools. For exclusive information about The Clean Air Campaign, follow @CleanAirGa on Twitter and find The Clean Air Campaign on Facebook at Facebook.com/CleanAirCampaign.