Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Real World Foundation

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

May 2008

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

January 2006 — March 2008


In some parts of New York City, 25% of school-age children have asthma, more than twice the national rate.

When students have difficulty breathing, they cannot focus on their schoolwork and often miss class time for visits to the school nurse. Vehicle exhaust is a major trigger of asthma problems. The Asthma Free School Zone program raises awareness of the importance of clean air around schools to reduce students’ exposure to asthma triggers.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Asthma Free School Zones conducted an environmental health intervention, training school crossing guards in four New York City police precincts on what asthma is, what to do if a child has an asthma emergency, and the connection between tailpipe emissions and health.
  • Project staff conducted three focus groups shortly after the training, which found increases in the crossing guards’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors.