BREATHE LA’s O24U® environmental educational program empowers youth in underserved Los Angeles communities with the health education tools necessary to improve their indoor and outdoor environments, manage lung health risks, and prevent related illnesses such as asthma. The program uniquely addresses environmental education and encourages youth to become advocates for clean air and healthy lungs by promoting sustainable behaviors in support of a healthier environment and greater lung health for themselves and their community.
O24U®places special emphasis on engaging children living in disproportionately impacted communities by the social determinants of health. We target grades 3-8 to align with California Environmental Education Initiative principles. Curriculum topics range from air pollution and health concepts to practical solutions that everyone can take to reduce harmful emissions and mitigate effects of air pollution and toxic indoor environments. Students complete an O24U® ‘Be Green’ commitment at the beginning of the program, pledging to play an important role sharing environmentally friendly habits with friends, family, and their community.
O24U® utilizes a train-the-trainer approach with on-going technical support. BREATHE LA health educators train after-school facilitators to ensure their understanding and ability to teach the curriculum to children. Additionally, each student takes pre- and post- tests and facilitators implement one activity per module. BREATHE LA health educators monitor student knowledge gain and provide incentive items/certificates to students upon completion of the program. As a result of our success, many students report positive behavior changes such as recycling and reduced resource consumption.
The O24U® curriculum consists of five distinct modules:
- Indoor Toxins and Air Pollution
- CO2 and Climate Change
- Renewable Energy Sources
- Environmental Justice
Modules include fun, interactive activities that educate and empower students to become advocates for clean air within their homes, schools and communities.
BREATHE LA is pleased to introduce a hands-on, garden-based learning program aimed to enhance students’ environmental literacy. Project GROW complements the O24U® environmental education program, emphasizing the connection between the environment, food, and health. This addition to the BREATHE LA O24U® program is a localized response to the need for creation and expansion of nutrition promotion efforts to improve neighborhood food environments among underserved and disparately impacted Los Angeles County communities presently served by the O24U® program.
Project GROW supports Los Angeles County Department of Public Health initiatives to narrow the environmental literacy gap among Los Angeles communities inversely plagued by the social determinants of health impacting access to healthy food choices. Participants are introduced to key concepts related to the plant cycle, urban garden ecosystems, healthy food choices, food justice, and food security. Students will learn about how healthy food options are inextricably linked to community health and how food justice is inarguably interconnected to the obesity epidemic plaguing Los Angeles County. Project GROW participants will be empowered to lead advocacy efforts that confront issues of food deserts and food injustice that affect their health and the health of their communities.
The coupling of O24U® and Project GROW aims to ultimately reduce the health burden plaguing low-income communities of Los Angeles County, decreasing obesity and associated complications such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and joint degeneration and empowering youth to lead efforts within their own community that promote gardening and healthy eating habits.
FiRST! is BREATHE California of Los Angeles County’s tobacco and nicotine prevention program. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The FIRST! program aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge to resist tobacco and nicotine use and empower them to lead the first smoke-free generation. The program curriculum covers the health and environmental consequences of tobacco and nicotine use, developing assertive communication skills, and utilizing social advocacy strategies to promote community health. FiRST! is designed to provide adolescents with the ability to confidently choose a tobacco- and nicotine-free lifestyle, and to advocate for the health and well-being of their communities.
The Vaping Trend: Clearing the Air is an anti-vaping workshop seeks to shed light on one of the newest public health issues affecting youth–the use of e-cigarettes. Many parents are unaware of the health risks posed by vaping.
The Vaping Trend: Clearing the Air is a 20-minute interactive presentation, intended for parents and other concerned adults, and provided by our BREATHE LA health educators in both English and Spanish.
Parents can expect to gain knowledge about:
- What it means to “vape”
- Different electronic nicotine delivery systems
- The ways in which youth are accessing e-cigarettes
- The major health concerns related to e-cigarette use
- The signs that a pre-teen/teen is vaping