What is Healthy Schools Day?
Healthy Schools Day in Canada launched in 2009 by twelve national and provincial organizations. It gives citizens, students, teachers, organizations, school boards, and all Canadians, a specific time to focus on school buildings’ indoor environment quality to benefit the health and learning ability of our country’s school children, and protect the health of workers in Canadian schools.
CASLE (Canadians for A Safe Learning Environment) has been doing amazing work, predominantly on the east coast in Canada, for 25 years to ensure safe, healthy schools. This organization continues to coordinate Healthy Schools Day in Canada.
Why is a National Healthy Schools Day Important?
- Many schools have problems linked to indoor air quality.
- Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards.
- Children spend an average of 30 to 50 hours per week in school.
- Staff spend even more time in their school workplaces.
- Poor indoor environmental quality is associated with a wide rage of problems that include respiratory illnesses and poor concentration leading to poor learning. Athletes need clean air in order to achieve their best and so do students!
- Asthma studies show up to 13% and in some areas 17% of school age children have asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for thousands of missed school days each year, and high costs to the medical system.
- There is no longer any doubt. Many studies have found positive health impacts from improved indoor air quality.
- Children attending schools in good condition score 5 to 10 percent higher on standardized tests than students who attend schools in poor condition.
- Studies show that resources put into improving indoor environment quality have a rapid pay back.
- Our Country’s school boards commonly make very difficult decisions between cutting back much-needed academic programs vs. cutting back on needed building maintenance.
- Healthy new and existing schools provide cleaner air, improved lighting, and reduced exposures to toxic substances, and provide a healthier and safer learning environment for children, and improved academic achievement and well-being.
- Federal and provincial governments have demonstrated interest in this important issue by developing programs like the Tools for Schools IAQ Action Kit, creating data, information and conferences on school IAQ; and are working to provide healthier schools every day. Use the Kit in your school!
- Our schools have the great responsibility of guiding the future of our children. Our children are our country’s greatest resource.