Healthy Schools Campaign
Partnership to Reduce Asthma & Obesity in Latino Schools
Rochelle S. Davis
Schools serving minority and low-income students suffer disproportionately from environmental hazards. These hazards include poor indoor air quality and nutritionally poor food choices which contribute to increased rates of asthma-related conditions and obesity in these communities. The Community Partnership for Healthy School Environments, a four year project, consists of community-based organizations, research scientists, and health care providers. Partners are identifying specific school environmental health concerns in targeted Latino communities of Chicago through discussions, assessments, and audits. The communities help guide the project's direction through their involvement in each step of data collection, development of interventions, and evaluation. By having an active role in the project's method and process, the communities not only understand the importance of good school environmental health, but also gain the tools and resources to effectively address environmental stressors that will improve their overall quality of life. The goal of this project is to reduce disparities of asthma-related illnesses and obesity in the quality of care, quality of life, and diagnoses of these conditions in Latino communities. The project has four aims:
- develop a better understanding of the impact of the school environment, and a large school district's policies that influence this environment, on asthma and obesity;
- develop a common language between 'professionals' and 'community members/parents' that will be used to activate, then resonate with school administrators;
- evaluate two different models of community organizing in a school-based setting; and
- open lines of communication and working partnerships between schools and community health providers.
West Town Leadership United
Little Village Environmental Justice Organizations
Dianne Rucinski, Ph.D.
Naomi Morris Collaborative School of Public Health