Raise Awareness of Outdoor Air Risks

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We’re surrounded by air, but we can’t always see when it’s dirty. Protect children from air pollution, especially those with asthma, with EPA’s School Flag Program by kicking of the program in your school.

Schools raise a flag each day (green, yellow, orange, red, or purple) and the flag color tells students, teachers, coaches and the rest of the community how clean the air is for that day.  When the air quality is unhealthy, program guidance helps teachers and coaches alter outdoor activities to protect student health. 

Measure your impact

Assess school-wide participation in following the guidance for poor outdoor air days. If possible, measure the decrease in absence related to respiratory illness.

Get started

  • Work with staff in the front office, a teacher, or coach to start the flag program for your school.  You can direct them to EPA’s AirNow web site [www.airnow.gov/schoolflag].
  • It’s easy to get started—everything you need is on the school flag website, including a fact sheet, activity guidelines, press release template, and coordinator’s handbook. 
  • Follow the four steps of the School Flag Program:
    1. Purchase the flags for use by your school
    2. Educate the school and the community about what the flags mean
    3. Check local air quality conditions on the AirNow web site, and then fly the appropriate flag each day
    4. Take action when the air quality is unhealthy
  • Connect student learning with sustainability action. Learning Lab offers high-quality classroom content — over 450 lessons — for teachers from kindergarten to high school. You can find modules to educate students about indoor air quality by searching by theme, learning standard, teaching method, or keyword.