About the Asthma-Friendly Champion Awards

Asthma impacts the lives of 7.1 million children in America. In 2008, asthma accounted for 10.5 million lost school days, making it the leading cause of school absences from a chronic disease. When a student has poorly controlled asthma, it has a direct impact on classroom attendance and can affect academic success.1 By supporting asthma management programs, schools and parents can work together to reduce the number of asthma-related absences, reduce the number of asthma emergencies, and help safeguard all students, faculty and staff.

The American Lung Association’s Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative (AFSI) is a comprehensive approach to asthma management in schools that enables community-school coalitions to establish an optimal environment for students to learn. Created with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit is an online resource that offers a step-by-step guide for school staff, volunteers and community partners, to maximize school health services, build asthma education, provide a healthier school environment, and manage physical education for students living with asthma. By following the Toolkit’s easy to use structure, a school can work with community partners to establish a long-term asthma management plan that is unique to their specific needs and available resources.

The Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Champion Awards recognize schools that are dedicated to the health and safety of their entire school community. By providing an opportunity to spotlight the accomplishments of these schools, the Lung Association hopes to increase the visibility of the important work being done to address the burden of asthma on schools nationwide. The criteria established in the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Champion Awards program compliments the recommendations established by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) and the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA).

This program recognizes schools for creating asthma-friendly environments. Recipients of an American Lung Association Asthma-Friendly School Champion Award does not designate a school or school system as an "asthma-friendly school."

Eligible candidates that submit an application will be asked to highlight the programs, practices, and/or policy development activities they have established that follow the guidelines set forth in the Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit.

  1. Moonie PhD, Sheniz, et al. The Relationship between school absence, academic performance, and asthma status. Journal of School Health (2008) Vol. 78, No. 3.