Tomorrow my town is under a heat advisory and the panic has set in much like the panic we had six months ago about record snow falls. Part of the panic has involved repeated texts from my local school district about schools letting out early tomorrow due to no air conditioning. Seriously? We live in Missiouri not Maine. We need air conditioning four to five months out of the year. When you think about it, it’s representative of how little investment we put into schools in this country. And this is in what most people would call a “good” school district.
I was stunned to discover that one of those schools closing early is the special education center that the girls attended until this year when they reached peer level and mainstreamed. If one school deserves air conditioning it’s this center where students with all sorts of challenges, including many wearing not so comfortable braces or using walkers/wheelchairs, are constantly working on gross and fine motor skills. Not to mention the teachers and therapists helping them through those exercises. Those adults are literally doing the heavy lifting of teaching kids.
Right after I got the text I knew I had to enter them in the Global Green USA’s Green Schools Makeover Competition presented by Pureology that I heard about through Influenster.com. The winning school will receive $2500 towards “greening” their school. The money can be used for anything from installing better ventilation to repainting with non toxic paint.
The prize in this contest may only make a small change to one school but I feel like the contest itself has a bigger impact by bringing awareness to the toxic environments that many children learn in. Sure it’s better for the environment to improve the schools but what is really important is that it is better for the students. From the Pureology website: “When children learn in healthy, green classrooms – with natural daylight, improved sound quality, and non-toxic paints and carpets – test scores can improve as much as 25%.”
We talk a lot about improving test scores and performance in this country. And the path we’ve taken is to “teach to the test” and drill our students with core information. There are tons of schemes from charter schools to awarding bonuses to the administrators and teachers who improve test scores. So if we’re willing to spend tax dollars funding these ideas why aren’t we willing to spend money on something that is not only proven to improve scores but that will also last through all the test changes and students that have to go through them. And while we’re at it, let’s install some AC!
You can enter your school to win here. If you would like to spread the awareness of this issue through blogging, join Influenster and get rewarded for it. From now until Wednesday, August 24th, Influenster bloggers who feature Global Green USA’s Green School Makeover Competition presented by Pureology in their blogs will automatically qualify for the upcoming ‘August Naturals’ VoxBox!
This VoxBox will include green products consisting of: conditioning lip color, aloe hand soap, organic snack bar, natural oral care rinse, skincare (moisturizer or scrub) and hair care.