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Honey Creek Elementary, RCPS win Clean Air Schools distinction
Honey Creek Elementary was named a Clean Air School. (Back row) Samantha Carlisle, assistant principal; Catherine Bowers, STEM teacher; Pam Akin, teacher; Jane Van Heest, PE teacher. (front row) students Josie Slotnik and Ben Bragg; Principal Kay Symons. - photo by Submitted Photo

The spotlight was on Rockdale County Public Schools during a presentation last week that named RCPS as Clean Air Schools District of the Year.

The state Clean Air Campaign presented PACE awards to 12 organizations Nov. 13 at the Georgia-Pacific auditorium for efforts to reduce traffic and improve air quality.

Besides the Clean Air School District designation, RCPS also took home the Clean Air School award for Honey Creek Elementary School.

The school system and HCE led projects that contributed to earning their designation.

Honey Creek participated in Air Quality Awareness Week by making air quality index charts and displaying them in the hallways. In addition, kindergarten students made banners about activities that could be done during poor air quality days. Fourth grade students put on puppet shows about air pollution and the school's news team made public service announcements.

Last school year, RCPS had every school register to be a Clean Air School. It was that 100 percent participation that helped the school system to earn the designation. The school system also took home four out of the six awards from the Young Lungs at Work art competition.

Rockdale County Board of Education community relations director Cindy Ball showed Board of Education members during its monthly work session Nov. 14 a photo of RCPS representatives accepting the PACE awards.

In a press release, Clean Air Campaign executive director Tedra Cheatham said, "As metro Atlanta's population continues to grow, commute options programs are essential for effectively managing the increased demand on our roadways and sustaining quality of life in our region."

"The many partners involved in Georgia Commute Options programs appreciate the efforts of all the employers, individuals and schools, especially those honored today, that are doing their part to reduce traffic and improve air quality," Cheatham said.

The Clean Air Campaign partners with the Georgia Department of Transportation and the region's transportation management associations to present the yearly PACE awards.