Protect Air - B2
History: In the summer of 2008 Cindy Lilly attended “Action for a Cleaner Tomorrow” and I was inspired by the Breathe Better seminar. This project began in September 2008 and is currently ongoing. The Breathe Better campaign has been sponsored by DHEC who has provided all material for this entire program.
Our project plan began with the recruitment of students into the science club. The program began with a kick-off week with a newsletter, bookmarks, announcements and posting on the school website. Prior to the kickoff, our science club took anonymous surveys of the idling cars in our parent pickup circle. This became our baseline data for our program. We then posted signs that read “No Idling. Kids Breathe here” around the pickup circle. Once a month, our students would go survey drivers to ask if they would like to participate in our campaign to help reduce emissions on campus or reward parents who are currently participating.
Our bus component of breathe better was to change our nose to tail bus parking and to utilize an existing bus lot with slight modifications of painting lines on the bus lot so drivers no longer have to idle prior to student release. Signs were also posted in the delivery unloading dock for those vehicles to also turn off their engines while parked. By the end of our first year, we reduced car pick-up idling to 0% and were awarded the “Clean Air Award for the Outstanding School in South Carolina”. Ultimately we would like Ocean Bay Elementary and the Academy for Arts, Science, and technology to be B2 schools also because they are both across the street from our school and also because we would like it to be a complete community buy-in.
Our project plan began with the recruitment of students into the science club
August –Met with Science club sponsors and organized a schedule for students to survey the cars for the year. Sign up science club students so they know their schedule for surveying cars. Science club students do an anonymous survey of how many cars are idling at 3:40.
September- “Kick Off” Day, make sure article is submitted for September’s Newsletter, the announcement is made through 3N’s, handouts, and emails. Bookmarks are passed out to students. The week of September 13th – September 17th students do surveys with parents-handout M&M’s and Postcards. Students are equipped with clipboards, T-shirts.
October - Share with PTO Night about the B2 program, benefits to both parents and students, explain the culture of the school, and present school-wide PowerPoint’s with videos on what everyone can do to make a difference and our school conservation culture.
November- Survey cars that are idling and reward parents who are and gently remind (resurvey parents who are not) and reminding student scheduled.
December - Construct a Thermometer for progress
January - Survey cars that are idling and reward parents who are and gently remind (resurvey parents who are not) and reminding student scheduled. Project posted on the website. Meet with a mentor.
February – Luncheon for bus drivers to thank them for their assistance in keeping buses off until student exit building. Renew excitement with announcements about the benefits of not idling in the pm announcements.
March- Get B2 guidelines posted in agenda book for the upcoming year.
April- Present benefits of B2 at Earthday. Meet with Mentor.
May- Survey cars that are idling and reward parents who are and gently remind (resurvey parents who are not) and reminding student scheduled.
June - At the end of the school year make sure results are sent to Air Quality office.
The educational components used were the Magic School Bus and curriculum components provided by DHEC. In addition, students also gave presentations to the bus drivers during a luncheon providing them with information about our program, and getting them onboard with our program.
All science club members’ responsibilities include being an active member of our conservation projects. Students are assigned monthly duties throughout the year. These include presenting at bus luncheon, surveying cars and recording data collected.