Effort to reduce harmful emissions near schools unveiled - September 26, 2008

Record Number: 4337
Displayed from: Sep 26, 2008 , until: Oct 26, 2008

The Allen County School Safety Commission and the Allen County Air Quality Task Force unveiled a joint effort Friday, Sept. 26, to reduce harmful emissions near schools. Fort Wayne Community Schools, Southwest Allen County Schools, and Northwest Allen County Schools are participating in this pilot program. More than 100 "No Idling" signs are being posted at schools throughout the county to target areas such as carpool lanes, delivery zones, which are commonly located near air intake systems, and other areas prone to idling vehicles. Schools were targeted in the first round of signage because the effect of the emissions on children is greater than adults. The signs will appear at 11 buildings in Fort Wayne Community Schools, nine in Southwest Allen County Schools and one in Northwest Allen County Schools. The signs were purchased using Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Funds (CMAQ), which are federal funds provided to areas designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as having poor air quality. "The goal of the program is to protect the health of the children and staff in schools by posting the signs anywhere vehicle emissions from idling vehicles can enter a building, while helping to improve the overall emission levels in Allen County," said Jerry Foust, senior transportation planner with the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council. FWCS is posting the signs at Whitney Young Early Childhood Center; Holland, Indian Village, Price and Weisser Park elementary schools; Kekionga, Lane and Portage middle schools; and Northrop, Snider and Wayne high schools. SACS is posting signs at all nine schools in the district, and NACS is posting signs at Cedar Canyon Elementary School. "Making our schools safe is a multi-faceted effort," FWCS Security Director John Weicker said. "Ensuring students and staff have clean air to breath is an important part in maintaining a safe environment. FWCS previously instituted a no-idling policy with our school buses, and now we're asking parents to help in the effort." For more information on improving air quality, please visit www.thecleanairforce.org.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.