Education

Breathe SoCal’s O24U® environmental educational program empowers youth in underserved 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 SoCal 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 SoCal 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: Environmental Education Program

  • Indoor Toxins and Air Pollution
  • Asthma
  • 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.

Thank you to our feature sponsor, Edison International, for helping make O24U® possible in our communities.

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FiRST! is our 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.

Lung Power delivers asthma management education in a family entertainment-based setting. Our goal is to engage, educate, and empower both youth and their caregivers so that we can reduce school absenteeism, increase asthma medication compliance, and decrease exacerbations, as well as fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Our first pilot program, “Family Asthma Day at the Aquarium,” was held in May 2019 at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. Asthma rates among youth in Long Beach alone are the highest in the region. Fifteen percent of Long Beach youth suffer from asthma compared to eight percent overall for Los Angeles County.

Lung Power came about as a response to the fact that air quality in Southern California is the worst in the nation. Pediatric asthma cases in Los Angeles County result in more than 20,000 emergency room visits, and almost 3,000 hospitalizations each year. Many of these visits are avoidable through patient and family education focused on improving asthma management and timely care-seeking behavior. Our goal for Lung Power is to hold four events each year in different family-friendly locations throughout Southern California.

Stay tuned for our next Lung Power workshop! If you’re interested in participating, please click here for information on all upcoming Breathe SoCal events and programs.
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Adult Lung Health Workshops:

Adult Lung Health Workshops offer adults and seniors lung capacity screening tests by a Registered Respiratory Therapist and provide lung health and wellness information to encourage healthier lifestyle habits and seek appropriate care earlier.

  • An ability to identify risk factors and triggers for COPD as they relate to smoking, airborne environments, and indoor toxins
  • Greater awareness of COPD risk
  • Greater motivation to advocate for quality care services for themselves and their communities
  • Reduction in ER visits and hospital admission rates due to COPD-related symptoms
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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 SoCal 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
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Breathe SoCal Film Series

Breathe SoCal’s Film Series screening events are networking and engagement opportunities for local community members to join an exclusive showing of films relevant to the pursuit of our mission including air quality and environmental health, climate change, lung disease and improved population health. Film Series events include moderated panelist discussions from local leaders on the topic(s) showcased. Film series provide increased visibility for issues presented with attendees exposed to a greater local-level awareness of environmental and lung health issues.

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Young Professionals for Sustainability

Breathe SoCal’s young professionals group for residents who are interested in meeting up monthly to discuss key topics and issues affecting the Los Angeles county area in relation to clean air and healthy living. The group welcomes anyone who shares a passion for environmental issues and sustainable causes to join and make connections with others who share their thoughts, interests and passions for improving the future of Southern California.

The young professionals’ group page serves as a forum for members to post about environmental news and sustainability events in SoCal!

Technology

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We are committed to ensuring we remain at the forefront of medical advancements in lung health and clean air. We are continuously working towards making our educational programs more accessible to those who need it most while simultaneously raising visibility on the importance of the environment and healthcare programs we support.