Take Action

Act Now - Simple Steps to Make Schools Healthy

Parents as well as school and early learning center teachers, staff and administrators have the unique opportunity to take action on important initiatives affecting the health and well being of children in schools. Learn more about the simple steps you can take to make schools healthy.

What’s at stake?

Lead in Water

Municipalities across the country are being impacted by the presence of lead in pipes. Children exposed to lead are at risk of severely impeded cognitive development and lifelong learning challenges.


Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. The EPA estimates that nearly 70,000 classrooms in the United States have dangerous short-term levels of radon gas. It can only be detected through testing.


Asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism in U.S. schools. Students with chronic absenteeism due to asthma are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a learning disability.


Sinus inflammation, nosebleeds, respiratory diseases, and irritation of existing asthma symptoms and allergies can result from mold.


Chemicals found in perfumes and personal care products can cause breathing difficulties, neurologic responses (such as dizziness and headaches), skin irritations, and allergic reactions.

Integrated Pest Management

Toxic pesticide exposure can lead to a variety of short and long-term health concerns, including asthma and allergy attacks, neurological impairment, and immune system damage.

Green Cleaning

The statistics are shocking, 25% of cleaning and maintenance products used in schools are toxic and can lead to poor indoor air quality, cancer, asthma, reproductive disorders and other illnesses and diseases. Green cleaning programs are shown to be as, if not more, effective than traditional cleaning methods, and have helped schools and childcare centers increase efficiency and reduce costs. Learn how your school can receive a free cleaning assessment and begin green cleaning.

School Bus Idling

According to the EPA, diesel fuel exhaust is among the most dangerous forms of emissions. Those routinely exposed to diesel exhaust face higher risks of stroke, cancer, asthma, heart attacks, and other chronic illnesses.

Why You Should Take the Good riddance Round-up Pledge

  • If you want to work to eliminate this chemical pesticide from the marketplace. Glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and it affects the neurological, endocrine, and reproductive systems.
  • If you want to protect children’s health by preventing exposure to toxic chemicals by eliminating them at the source. Children are especially vulnerable to the impacts of this environmental toxin due to their relative size and weight.
  • If you want to empower communities to use safer alternatives to protect the health of their families. Schools and childcare centers are well-positioned to act.  Pennsylvania currently requires the use of IPM, which uses non-toxic tools and techniques to reduce the use of chemical pesticides. Yet, we know many schools still struggle to manage pests on their grounds.
Join us for the:

2022 Healthy Schools PA Summit

Where and When? December 9, 2022 Virtual

8:30am– Welcome from Phil Johnson, Heinz Foundation on the Healthy Schools PA State of the Schools Report 

9:00-10:00am: First Keynote speaker: former Climate Advisor to the Obama Administration and Activist, Molly Kawahata

10:00-11:00am Panel — Teaching Hope to the Next Generation of Climate Leaders in the School Environment  

11:00-11:15am: Break 

11:15-12:15pm – Second Keynote Speaker: Research Scientist and Deputy Indoor Environment Group Leader in Energy Analysis and Environmental Impact Division at Lawrence: Dr. Rengie Chan

12:15 – 12:45 pm: Break for lunch 

12:45– 1:15 pm: Expert presentation on what it takes to promote and protect healthy school environments across PA

1:15 – 2:30 pm – Learning from Experts and Innovators’ Award-Winning Initiatives in School Environmental Health featuring PA Green Ribbon Schools.

2:30pm– Close with final remarks from Healthy Schools PA Program Manager, Shannon Meyers 

Join Us!

Together, we can ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children and those who devote their lives to shaping them into the next generation of leaders. Join engaging panel discussions among community leaders, policymakers, advocates, scientists and families from across our region, state and nation for the Healthy Schools Pennsylvania Summit on December 9, 2022.

Register for this free, virtual event using the link below: