Council takes lead in school pollution project

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Maidstone Borough Council is taking the lead with an exciting new school science initiative focusing on the quality of the local environment.

The Clean Air for Schools campaign is a simple, hands-on and low-cost scheme that gives children an active role in monitoring local pollution.

Schools participating in the campaign get two test tubes that they put up at the front and rear of their grounds, and use them to record pollution levels. Pupils take measurements every four to five weeks, and pass the data on to the council.

It is hoped that the results of the initiative, which is supported by the KM Charity Team and complements its Walk on Wednesday (Wow) green travel scheme, will encourage more families to leave their cars at home when getting to and from school.

And the very first school to sign up with the campaign is St John’s C of E Primary in Provender Way, Maidstone.

Sarah Jane Edwards-Bonner of Maidstone Borough Council said: “We’re hoping the data will show a difference and that this will encourage an interest in science and air pollution, and hopefully encourage more people to walk to school.

“St John’s is the first school to sign up for the Clean Air for Schools initiative, but we’re hoping a lot more schools sign up.”

St John’s teacher Miriam Lebrette said: “At St John’s, we’re passionate about green travel, we already take part in Walk to School on Wednesday, which the children love, and when we got the letter to take part in a campaign that reduces air pollution we were really thrilled and knew instantly that it was something we wanted to do.

“Joining the Clean Air for School campaign obviously fits in really nicely with the science curriculum, and gets the children really involved in looking after our environment.”

To find out more, or join, visit www.maidstone.gov.uk/cleanairforschools

As from September, Wow will be rebranded as Super Wow, for which schools can already sign up now to get a 20% discount. Contact Sarah Clyne at sclyne@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 0844 264 0291 or visit www.kmwalktoschool.co.uk/wow.

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