Arizona schools recently won the EPA's Spring Air Quality Flag Program Challenge designed to protect people's health.
Under the program, schools statewide raise bright flags indicating daily air quality conditions. Colors on the flags represent air quality forecasts to inform the public so they can protect their health.
The spring challenge aimed to increase the number of participating schools and organizations and to raise awareness about the flags and what they represent. Each day a flag is hoisted above schools or other community sites; recess and physical education may be held indoors on days with particularly poor air quality.
Arizona enrolled 63 new schools in the program, winning the nationwide challenge, said Alexis Strauss, EPA's acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.
Julian School in Phoenix has participated in the program for nearly a decade. Students at the school learn how air quality affects their daily activities and how they can protect themselves when conditions are poor.