Elementary Curriculum Focuses on Air Awareness, Pollution Reduction, Effective Ozone Action Days

Research Triangle Region, N.C. – The Research Triangle Region’s four Ozone Action Days – meaning the air quality was unhealthy for sensitive groups – so far this season demonstrates the need for residents to understand how they can improve the air quality and respond when it is poor.

Triangle Air Awareness’ curriculum for K-5 students, The Adventures of Clair and CAM, teaches those lessons and more.

It is available free of charge to schools within the 13-county Research Triangle Region, thanks to a grant from GlaxoSmithKline. It is already in use in six counties – Durham, Franklin, Johnston, Orange, Person and Wake.

The air awareness curriculum aligns with the N.C. Standard Course of Study for grades K-5 and includes a workbook; interactive DVD featuring mascots Clair, the Clean Air Explorer, and CAM, the Clean Air Maniac; and a children’s book, The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up, written in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that teaches ways to help keep the air clean. Complete lesson plans and handouts are designed to be easy for teachers to use and fun for students.

Triangle Air Awareness’s Web site offers additional resources and a range of activities to help regional residents learn about and access information on reducing air pollution.

“GlaxoSmithKline continues to invest in the program because of the exceptional air quality education it provides to children in our region,” said Mary Linda Andrews, GSK’s director of community partnerships. “Teaching children in grades K-5 how to prevent air pollution and stay healthy on ozone action days will help create positive, lifelong habits.”

Mascots Clair and CAM made several recent public appearances to introduce the curriculum to students. In May, they starred at a program at Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, serving as the opening act for school administrators, who received copies of the curriculum for review.

In June, Clair and CAM performed the DVD’s opening scene for 120 students at Hunter Elementary School in Raleigh. The mascots shared “clean air clues” with the students and taught them to identify the five colors used to identify air quality conditions and what activities are appropriate for each.

Triangle Air Awareness is a partnership of the N.C. Division of Air Quality and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which coordinates economic development for the 13 Research Triangle Region counties of Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren.

Schools that want to review the curriculum or schedule appearances by Clair and CAM should visit and complete a contact request form or contact program coordinator Elaine Loyack or (919) 715-7647.