The American Lung Association recognized William M. Trotter School, known as the Trotter School, of Dorchester, with their 2013 Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative (AFSI) Champion Silver Award on Jan. 10. The AFSI Champion Awards are given in recognition of schools that have taken positive strides to create a healthier learning environment using the strategies outlined in the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative. Silver and Gold level winners are schools that have gone above and beyond to protect the health of their students, faculty and staff. The 2013 AFSI Champion Awards were supported by funding from Environmental Protection Agency and Genentech.
A plaque was presented to Mairead T. Nolan, Principal, by Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.
“The Trotter School was one of four schools recognized with an Asthma-Friendly Schools Champion Award in the whole country and that speaks volumes about their hands on approach to managing students’ asthma,” said Jeff Seyler, President & CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. “More than 7 million American children are living with asthma, a leading cause of school absenteeism responsible for more than 14 million missed school days each year. By supporting the Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative, William M. Trotter School has helped kids with asthma stay healthy, in school and ready to learn.”
The faculty at the Trotter School decided to use AFSI Award funding be to compile “starter kits” that would be provided to other Boston Public Schools (BPS) to assist them in implementing the AFSI in those schools – with Trotter faculty and staff acting as champions and consultants. The American Lung Association will provide clipboards containing asthma emergency information for use by coaches, bus drivers and other school personnel in conjunction with the Asthma Basics asthma education program. BPS will be provided with 20 Open Airways For Schools® kits (OAS) and provided a free program training for school nurses and personnel. Two hundred and fifty inhaler spacers will be distributed to children taking part in OAS. A number of posters detailing how to properly use an inhaler will also be distributed by the Lung Association.
The Lung Association’s AFSI Champion Award acknowledges schools that have helped to develop a comprehensive asthma management plan. The Lung Association encourages schools to take positive steps toward creating an asthma-friendly school by maximizing school health services, providing asthma education, creating a healthy school environment, and ensuring all students can participate in physical education and activity.
By recognizing schools that have taken a comprehensive approach to asthma management, the Lung Association works to increase awareness around childhood asthma, establish a cadre of schools that can share their best practices and experiences, as well as expand the number of schools working towards healthier learning environments.
“We are thrilled that the students, teachers, staff and school leaders at the Trotter are being recognized for outstanding asthma management and education by the American Lung Association,” said John McDonough, Interim Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. “Our schools can help lead the way as we confront the issue of asthma among children and we are pleased to have this opportunity to bring the success we have seen at the Trotter to all of our schools.”
The Trotter community is connecting the dots between physical and environmental health, understanding that healthy, high-performing buildings, produce healthy high-performing students.
During the ceremony, awards were also given to two individuals chosen by the American Lung Association as “asthma champions.” Margaret VanCleve-Rocchio, RN, MSN, school nurse for The Trotter School and Tolle Graham, Labor & Environment Coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health who led the effort as part of their Healthy Schools Initiative, were presented with plaques.
The American Lung Association is a leader in helping parents and kids with management. Along with the 2013 AFSI Champion Awards, there are a number of tools and resources that can be found on the Lung Association’s website at www.lung.org/asthma. One-on-one help is also available by calling the Lung HelpLine at 800-LUNGUSA.
About the American Lung Association of the Northeast
The American Lung Association of the Northeast is part of the American Lung Association, the oldest voluntary health organization in the U.S. Established in 1904 to combat tuberculosis; our mission today is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. The focus is on air quality, asthma, tobacco control, and all lung disease. The American Lung Association in the Northeast serves CT, MA, ME, NH, NY, RI and VT. www.LungNE.org