American Lung Association Announces National Awards for Asthma-Friendly Schools

Kicks off National Asthma Awareness Month

Washington, D.C. (May 1, 2013)

As National Asthma Awareness Month commences, the American Lung Association today announced the launch of its national Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative (AFSI) Champion Awards, which recognize schools that have taken steps toward establishing asthma-friendly learning environments. Applications for the award are open to the public and will be accepted through June 15.

“Asthma is a serious lung disease that threatens the health of millions of children and hinders their ability to learn and play,” said Harold P. Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The AFSI Champion Awards put a spotlight on the important work being done to address the burden of asthma on schools nationwide.”

More than 25 million Americans currently have asthma—including more than 7 million kids. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is a leading cause of school absences. When a student has poorly controlled asthma, it has a direct impact on classroom attendance and can affect academic success. 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.

K-12 schools that demonstrate implementation of the recommended components set forth by the American Lung Association’s AFSI Toolkit will be rewarded for their commitment to the health and safety of their entire school community. There are two award levels, silver and gold, based on the scope of a school’s asthma management plan.

The American Lung Association’s Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the AFSI 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 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.

For more information about the application process or to download the application, visit www.lung.org/afsichampion or contact AFSIChampion@lung.org.

The American Lung Association delivers a multitude of resources and programs for people with asthma and their loved ones.  Additional information on this chronic lung disease is available at www.lung.org/asthma, or by calling the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) to speak to a lung health specialist. 

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About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: www.Lung.org.