Recognizing the toll that asthma takes on school attendance, New York City is piloting an initiative in 24 schools in Fall 2011 to bring the chronic respiratory illness under control. Community partners, physical education teachers, parents, city agencies, even health clubs are working together to support children with asthma. Each school will have an “asthma ambassador” from the community or school staff trained to provide support to individual students.
According to the City Health Commissioner, asthma is a leading cause of absenteeism. The Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Truancy, Chronic Absenteeism, & School Engagement has launched the NYC Asthma Friendly Schools Campaign in conjunction with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Other highlights of the program include:
- Physical Education Teacher Training: the Office of School Health is currently in the process of training PE teachers to help students with asthma.
- American Lung Association’s Open Airways for Schools program: This widely-renowned asthma management program will be expanded and strengthened at all pilot schools.
- Partnership with the New York Sports Club: The NYSC is donating $20,000 to support the Champs morning fitness classes in select middle schools.
Added October 2011