Cobb Schools was named the “Clean Air Schools District of the Year” and Jamee Douglas at Big Shanty was named the “Clean Air Schools Champion of the Year.”
“The PACE Awards recognize employers, property managers, schools and individuals that show a commitment to improving mobility and air quality through the use of commute alternatives such as carpooling, vanpooling, telework, riding transit, bicycling and walking,” said Mike Rieman with the Clean Air Campaign.
Cobb and Douglas were two of five named in the Clean Air Schools category and among 15 overall recognized for their practices.
Cobb County has had consistent participation in the Clean Air Schools program since 2008 with almost half of all schools participating in 2011-2012.
Due to the county’s success, representatives from Cobb are invited to speak with principals from other counties about the Clean Air Schools program.
The Parent-Teacher Association provides a high level of support, and members are invited to events every year to help identify potential carpool matches for parents.
Douglas, a fifth grade teacher at Big Shanty, has been the school’s Clean Air Schools Champion for three years and has grown student involvement in reducing idling.
During the fall, she works with student and parent volunteers to have scarecrows on school grounds that hold No-Idling signs and scare off idlers and during Clean Commute Week, Douglas led the commute logging charge for Big Shanty Elementary and as a result, the school had more participation than any other school in Georgia.
She has also partnered with the school nurse and school news team to educate students on the harmful effects of air pollution, as well as creating lesson plans about air quality.
The Clean Air Campaign is a non-profit organization that works with Georgia employers, commuters and K-12 schools to encourage actions that result in better air quality and less traffic congestion. Along with its partner organizations, it facilitates Georgia Commute Options, a program that helps employers and commuters choose alternatives to driving alone.
Through its Clean Air Schools program, the non-profit also empowers students, parents and teachers to play a positive role in reducing traffic and improving air quality through an action-oriented education program.
The campaign also protects public health by distributing Smog Alert notifications. In conducting these programs, The Clean Air Campaign works in partnership with The Georgia Department of Transportation.