SOLIHULL schoolchildren have marked Clean Air Day by launching a campaign to get parents to switch off car engines at pick-up times.
Solihull mayor Stuart Davis visited Monkspath Junior and Infant School, Farmhouse Way, Shirley, yesterday (June 20) to discuss their campaign.
It seeks to encourage walking and cycling.
Posters on nearby roads and car parks remind parents and children to make greener choices.
One of the posters drawn by students reminds parents to turn their engines off when they stop to pick up their kids – and not allow stationary vehicles to emit toxic air.
Solihull council has praised the fact that air pollution and the environment has been included in the school curriculum, and has paid tribute to the youngsters’ work.
The mayor said: “Air pollution is real. It is the top environmental risk to human health in the UK.
“So it was lovely to see local young children getting involved in this very important issue.
“Monkspath’s pupils are letting others know there are lots of simple things we can all do to improve air quality and look after our health.
“They are showing that by taking action we can all breathe clean air.”
Headteacher Mrs Jane Hutchinson said: “Clean Air Day is a chance to share information about air pollution and how we can make our air cleaner with parents, and residents.
“It’s part of our year-long project working with UNICEF’s Outright campaign as well as Global Action Plan (Clean Air Day organisers).
“Pupils have worked hard to try and make people aware of the issue and have really enjoyed finding ways to help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.”
And today (June 21), West Midlands mayor Andy Street was at Langley School, in Kineton Green Road – the school he attended as a boy.
It was celebrating many pupils’ decision to walk to school.
Langley pupils currently walk to school as part of the WOW challenge, set up by the Living Streets charity, aiming to reduce congestion and pollution from cars around school gates.
It sees schools signed up to the scheme reward children who walk to school at least once a week with collectable badges.
Mr Street said: “It is brilliant to see Living Streets’ WOW challenge inspiring so many families to walk, scoot or cycle to school.
“They are fun and easy ways to build more activity into the day – and active kids are healthier, happier and do better at school.”