Air pollution lesson resource launched in new clean air Child Health Initiative Toolkit
A new educational resource to empower young people to understand and call for action on vehicle based air pollution has been launched with Global Action Plan thanks to support from the FIA Foundation, as part of the new clean air expansion of the Child Health Initiative (CHI) toolkit on Clean Air Day 2020.
The School Run Scandal toolkit is a teaching resource for students aged 10-14 years old to understand the role of vehicles emissions, particularly in the wake of the Dieselgate Scandal, on their air, health, and environment. It draws on research by The Real World Urban Emissions Initiative (TRUE) to build understanding of the real impact of vehicles on their streets, encouraging them to undertake their own investigation, develop their personal views about what needs to change about their world, and what role they can play as an agent of change for a fairer, cleaner, greener and healthier future.
Created in partnership with the FIA Foundation and Global Action Plan, and hosted on the Transform Our World Hub, it shows young people how to learn, engage and take action on an issue which creates a better future for themselves and their families.
The lesson resource is launched following a pilot at four schools across the UK. It sets out how to build understanding the cause and health impacts of air pollution, consider the role of advertising in car sales, and visualise the changes they want to see. Despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was still able to engage children through online lessons and at-home activities. Maria Lambert-Carter, a teacher at Alderbrook Primary School who took part in the pilot project, said: “I explained to my class how important this work is to help out and change things. We have been using our voice to be able to change things which is just fantastic.”
The Child Health Initiative Toolkit is an expansive resource centralising best practice for policymakers, practitioners and advocates to address the dangerous journeys children worldwide face every day from the risks of road traffic injury and dangerously toxic air. The Global Action Plan resources has been incorporated into the new clean air element of the Toolkit which presents solutions for safe and healthy journeys to school, themed around data, implementation, coalition building and scaling-up interventions. Engaging and empowering youth as agents of change can be powerful drivers policy debate at a local and national level, which makes the School Run Scandal teaching resource a particularly valuable asset within the Toolkit.
Chris Large, CEO of Global Action Plan, said: “It is fantastic to be witnessing a rising tide of youth activists demanding a fairer, cleaner, greener and healthier future. This toolkit shows them how to learn, engage and take action on an issue which creates a better future for them and their families, and experience the power that their voice can have in making change happen.”
Deputy Director of the FIA Foundation, Sheila Watson, said: “If young people are to be given the chance for a better, cleaner and healthier future, we need to empower them to understand the issues that will affect them as future consumers, activists and citizens. The Global Action Plan School Run Scandal resource uses data from the TRUE Initiative to inform and engage young people to see the world as it is and how it could be. It’s a great resource with which to launch Child Health Initiative Toolkit’s widened scope to act and advocate for cleaner air for all.”