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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
RaeAnn Tucker-Marshall is the public information director of the Henry/Stark Health Departments.
Blog: Schools offered toolkit to ensure clean, safe learning environment
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By Chris Whitley, EPA Region 7 Office
Aug. 18, 2014 10 a.m.

As schools across the country are returning to classes, EPA Region 7 is introducing a suite of new, free web-based resources designed to help school administrators and service providers keep school buildings and facilities clean, green and healthy.

EPA Region 7’s Healthy Schools Toolkit, available online at www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/schools/toolkit.htm , is also intended to help the public—including parents, students, school visitors and the news media--better understand the importance of maintaining environmentally safe and healthy schools. The virtual toolkit’s downloadable materials are suitable for a wide range of audiences, from school superintendents and building custodians to community organizations and student groups, and can be adapted for classroom curriculum.

The Healthy Schools Toolkit consists of more than 50 educational and informational documents structured around 15 separate subject areas: Asbestos, Chemical Cleanout, Composting, Energy Star, Green Cleaning, Healthy Schools, School Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Lead, Mercury, Mold, PCBs, Radon, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens and Recycling. Materials include PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets, brochures, flyers, and lists of helpful resources and contact information, all grouped by subject.

The toolkit is part of EPA Region 7’s Healthy Schools Initiative, which provides one-stop online access to programs and resources that can help prevent and resolve environmental issues in schools: http://www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/schools/index.htm

Across the United States, more than 53 million children and about six million adults spend significant portions of their days in more than 120,000 public and private school buildings. Without proper attention, these facilities may present environmental conditions that inhibit learning and pose increased risks to the health of children, faculty, staff and visitors.

School representatives with questions or comments about the new Healthy Schools Toolkit are urged to contact Kathleen Fenton, EPA Region 7’s Healthy Schools Coordinator, at 913-551-7874, or fenton.kathleen@epa.gov.


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