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The City Journals

Oakwood teams with police to make school idle free

May 09, 2018 02:48PM ● By Travis Barton

The student council at Oakwood Elementary hold up signs to remind parents to turn off their cars when picking up students. (Holly Fairbanks/Oakwood Elementary)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

With air quality in the Salt Lake Valley garnering more attention each year, the Oakwood Elementary Student Council leapt into action to bring change to its school.

In late March, the council teamed up with the Holladay City Police to raise awareness about idling cars. Students and police officers reminded parents picking up their children from school to turn off their car and be idle free. Information flyers were sent home with students.

“Our students are helping their parents remember to turn their cars off whenever they are just sitting in a parking lot,” said Holly Fairbanks, PTA member who oversees the student council.

The idea came when a neighbor noticed all the idling cars in front of the school and suggested to Fairbanks some informational outreach — such as a city ordinance that limits idling to two minutes.

Fairbanks said the kids were excited at the proposition. On a few occasions this year, recess was held indoors due to the poor air quality. She noted students were especially disappointed since there was no rain and blue skies.

“Our students hate staying inside on bad air days, so they really want to help educate their parents and other adults that don’t realize how much idling effects our air quality,” Fairbanks said. “If we all do just a little, it can make a big difference.”