The flag program visually alerts children, teachers, coaches, administrators and parents about Atlanta’s smog each day by highlighting good air quality days as well as bad ones. Green and yellow days offer opportunities for teachers and coaches to encourage their students to get outside and get moving. Orange and red flags make it easier to monitor poor air quality, helping the many students and staff living with asthma to avoid a serious asthma trigger. Physical education teachers and coaches can make schedule and location changes to reduce exposure and reduce risk when air quality is poor.
With a grant from the Captain Planet Foundation and technical assistance from Farmer D Organics, the Young Women’s Leadership Academy also is starting a school garden, dedicated to Coretta Scott King, with strawberries and onions already planted for spring.
Farm-to-school programs are spreading quickly in Georgia, along with efforts to get soda and other sugary snacks out of schools. With these efforts, together with programs to improve the air we breathe and reduce kids’ exposure to pollution, as well as asthma education programs, we can raise healthy, active kids with healthy lungs.
Laura Seydel of Atlanta co-founded Mothers & Others for Clean Air with Stephanie Blank and is chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation.