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Week of 10/18/10: Healthy schools wrap-up

Healthy kids learn better

Attend a free lecture titled “Health Kids Learn Better: Strategies for Supporting Health and Student Achievement” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, at the University of Colorado’s Denver campus, 1380 Lawrence St., in the second floor atrium.

The lecture will explore the link the between health and student achievement, describe a model for schools, communities, and public health to coordinate efforts that foster health and well‐being, and provide examples of how it’s worked in schools. The Colorado Health Foundation will also present an overview of some best practices and efforts to increase health and nutrition education, physical education, healthy cafeteria food, and opportunities for physical activity. The event features Sharon Murray, president of the Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education and Hillary Fulton, Healthy Living, Colorado Health Foundation. To RSVP click here.

Dangers of mold in schools

Read this Los Angeles Times story Toxic schools: Could mold be the reason your child is sick? The intro: “Six-year-old Anthony Aliseo was miserable. He had headaches, pressure between his eyes, trouble breathing and, occasionally, suffered the indignity of vomiting in front of his classmates.

Over two years, the youngster was in and out of the doctor’s office for constant sinus and respiratory infections. Cara Aliseo watched her son endure 70-plus allergy injections, two CAT scans and then two surgeries to drain his clogged sinuses.

She could not figure out what was causing the boy to be so sick — until another mom at his elementary school mentioned the campus was being treated for mold.

Once she moved Anthony to another school, she said, his health problems vanished. Aliseo and several other parents sued the Broward County school district, and she settled out of court in 2007.

Despite growing legal claims across the country involving indoor air quality, there is also no generally accepted standard for how much mold can be in a room before it becomes unsafe. That’s because sensitivity levels can vary widely from person to person.

If mold is growing on the ceiling or inside the wall of a classroom, some kids will not be affected at all. Others, however, might experience flu-like symptoms such as runny noses, coughing and breathing difficulties. Some types of mold emit toxins that can elicit more severe responses.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.

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