In many communities across the country, asthma is the number one reason children miss school. This alarming statistic is the result of a number of different factors. Sometimes children stay home because they have an asthma attack. Sometimes it is the perceived potential of an asthma attack due to seasonal allergies, cold weather or even school field trips. The Centers for Disease Control have identified schools as an area for highly effective interventions with a collaborative approach to learning and health called Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC). Together, we can make a difference.
a.i.r. nyc's care model reduces school absenteeism by 61%. And a.i.r. nyc has maintained school partnerships since 2001, when the asthma initiative that would become a.i.r. nyc was founded by the Harlem Children's Zone, Harlem Hospital, and Columbia University. Today, a.i.r. nyc provides services to children in more than 350 New York City schools.
Public Prep and a.i.r. nyc launched an in-school program in 2014 called A.C.T., or Asthma Control Training. The program is designed to inform caregivers, educators, and other school personnel about the dangers of asthma, and the solutions, while also helping asthmatic students reach for their potential.
Goals of A.C.T.
- To reduce school absences due to asthma
- For each asthmatic child to fully participate in school activities, including physical activities, field trips etc.
- For all school staff, students, and parents to know what to do in an asthma emergency
- For each asthmatic child to have an asthma action plan (AAP), a medication administration form (MAF), and an inhaler in school
- For school staff to have the knowledge and skills to minimize asthma triggers in the school environment and improve indoor and outdoor air quality
- To identify and provide case management for families of asthmatic students by referring them to and coordinating care with a.i.r. bronx’s home-visiting program