181659 Clearing the air in preschools: Lessons in civic engagement

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:45 AM

Ingrid A. Brudenell, RN, PhD , Nursing, Boise State University, Boise, ID
Omair Shamim, MD, MHS , Health and Nutrition Services, Friends of Family and Children Headstart and Early Headstart, Boise, ID
Lindsay Byars, BS , Community Health Promotion and Education, Central District Health Department, Boise, ID
Air pollution is an ongoing problem in the intermountain West. Air quality plummets to unhealthy levels at times due to vehicle emissions, inversions and wild land fires. Asthma and related respiratory problems are exacerbated by episodes of pollution in both indoor and outdoor air quality. Young children are particularly vulnerable to effects from air pollution. “Tools for Schools” and the “Clean Air Zone” are two programs focused on improving indoor and outdoor air quality in schools. These programs are sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Both programs have been implemented at four different Head Start facilities (preschool and early Headstart learning centers) during the months of September to May. The implementation of these two tools is a collaborative project developed for Senior Nursing students in a Nursing Leadership course, involving Head Start staff and the local Health Department program officials. The purpose of the project is to implement and evaluate these interventions using change and motivation theories. The design for evaluation was descriptive with data from pre-implementation, and post -implementation measures; service learning reflections by students on their experiences, and feedback from staff on their appraisal of the effectiveness of the two programs. Results will be discussed and include reflections on effective use of the projects for student leadership and service learning contributions; collaboration among community members to improve air quality and lessons learned and limitations from the experiences.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the "Tools for Schools" and "Clean Air Zone" Programs for a preschool program. 2. Evaluate the process and outcomes of implementing the two programs in a preschool. 3. Discuss leadership and civic skills developed by senior nursing students through implementing this project. 4. Assess collaboration among community members to improve air quality.

Keywords: Air Quality, Children's Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Developed and supervised the project and presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.