Non-profit organizations to provide educational resources to students nationwideThe Clean Air Campaign and Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) have joined forces to provide students nationwide with the tools to become future environmental stewards and leaders in sustainability and conservation.
The Captain Planet Foundation introduced its Planeteer Clubs during the 2011-2012 school year to encourage initiatives that empower children and youth to create environmental solutions in their homes, schools and communities. During the 2012-13 school year the Planeteers Club program was in a Phase 2 pilot in public schools in Atlanta, El Paso, Texas, Cleveland, Ohio and Portage Township, Indiana (just south of Chicago). The program, based on the popular Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon, is expanding nationwide in September 2013 with the help of The Clean Air Campaign, which is providing the educational materials for the program’s air quality component.
"Our children deserve the right to clean air outside their schools, and this partnership goes a long way towards helping schools with no idle zones and carpooling,” said Laura Turner Seydel, chairperson of Captain Planet Foundation. “By putting the implementation in the hands of the students, we provide them with the knowledge, tools and experience of creating positive change in their schools and community. This is a very empowering program!"
The Clean Air Campaign is providing three comprehensive resource toolkits currently used in its Clean Air Schools program for use nationwide in the Planeteer Clubs’ “Wind” program. Each student toolkit is designed to give elementary and middle school students the resources to lead programs that improve air quality on their school’s campus by educating classmates about the benefits of carpooling, taking the bus and not idling in the carpool lane.
“During phase one of our pilot program, we worked locally in the metro Atlanta area with the Girl Scouts and Atlanta metro schools to raise awareness about the dangers of poor air quality and idling in the carpool lane,” said Leesa Carter, executive director of the Captain Planet Foundation. “By partnering with The Clean Air Campaign, we feel that we have all the tools in place to take our program nationwide, ultimately allowing us to reach future leaders across the United States.”
Poor air quality represents a continuing health hazard to children nationwide, especially those with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 14 percent of children under the age of 18 (over 10 million) have asthma. Among children ages 5 to 17, asthma is the leading cause of school absences from a chronic illness—accounting for an annual loss of more than 14 million school days per year (approximately 8 days for each student with asthma) and more hospitalizations than any other childhood disease. It is estimated that children with asthma spend nearly 8 million days per year restricted to bed.
“Children can be exposed to more air pollution because they breathe 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults and are closer to the ground and vehicle tailpipes,” said Gretchen Gigley, director of education for The Clean Air Campaign. “The best way to minimize harmful effects on children’s health is to educate teachers, parents and students on simple actions they can take to reduce their exposure to air pollution. Through this partnership, students will have the opportunity to take action to improve the environment and health in their schools and communities. They will learn how air, land, energy and water are all connected. We are excited to see how our future leaders use this program to effect change.”
Since 2004, The Clean Air Campaign’s Clean Air Schools program has worked to educate students, teachers and parents at more than 550 Georgia schools about the dangers of poor air quality and how they can take action for cleaner air within their school community through a variety of programs.
For more information on how to improve air quality, visit CleanAirCampaign.org. You can also find The Clean Air Campaign on Facebook at facebook.com/CleanAirCampaign and facebook.com/groups/cleanairschools on Twitter at twitter.com/cleanairga and YouTube at youtube.com/GaCleanAirCampaign.
For more information on the Captain Planet Foundation, visit captainplanetfdn.org. You can also find the Captain Planet Foundation on Facebook at facebook.com/CaptainPlanetFoundation and on Twitter at twitter.com/captainplanetfd.
About The Clean Air Campaign
The Clean Air Campaign is a not-for-profit organization that works with Georgia employers, commuters and K-12 schools to encourage actions that result in better air quality and less traffic congestion. The Clean Air Campaign, along with its partner organizations, facilitates Georgia Commute Options, a program that helps employers and commuters choose alternatives to driving alone. Through its Clean Air Schools program, the non-profit also empowers students, parents and teachers to play a positive role in reducing traffic and improving air quality through an action-oriented education program. The Clean Air Campaign also protects public health by distributing Smog Alert notifications. In conducting these programs, The Clean Air Campaign works in partnership with The Georgia Department of Transportation.
For more information, call 1-877-CLEANAIR (1-877-253-2624) or visit CleanAirCampaign.org. You can also find The Clean Air Campaign on Facebook at facebook.com/CleanAirCampaign and facebook.com/groups/cleanairschools on Twitter at twitter.com/cleanairga and YouTube at youtube.com/GaCleanAirCampaign.
About Captain Planet FoundationBased on the critically-acclaimed cartoon series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF) was co-founded in 1991 by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle. The mission of CPF is to give the next generation of environmental stewards an active understanding and love for the natural world in which they live. Our unique program of funding and supporting hands-on environmental projects is designed to encourage innovative initiatives that inspire and empower children and youth around the world as they work individually and collectively creating environmental solutions in their homes, schools and communities. For more information on the Foundation, call 404-522-4270 or visit www.captainplanetfdn.org.