Quinton the air quality bird educates kids on how to help keep our air clean

Poor air quality can affect children more than adults. Kids tend to be outdoors more, and their developing lungs are more vulnerable to pollutants. There are simple, everyday actions that kids can do to help keep our air clean.

Quinton, mascot of MARC’s Air Quality program, takes kids on clean air adventures to teach them about the importance of air quality and how we can all do simple things can help us breathe easier. In “Wingin’ It”, Quinton and his dad explore Kansas City on an Ozone Alert day, so to reduce harmful emissions they use alternative transportation such as riding the bus or biking.

To share Quinton’s message, Royce Handy, MARC’s air quality intern, has spent the past few months delivering copies of the children’s book along with Air Quality calendars to elementary school children throughout the region.

I’ve had a great experience this year delivering air quality books and 2019 calendars to our Head Start partners and to kids at Crossroads – Quality Hill in partnership with Lead to Read. So far, I’ve delivered over 2,500 books to places like the Kansas City School District, Front Porch Alliance, YMCA and more. This has been a refreshing experience, as I not only get to meet amazing regional leaders who are caring for our children and their education, but the children themselves.

When I was a kid, I loved R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” book series. Through them, I developed an appreciation for creative writing and a love of reading. As I bring books to students throughout the metro, I hope they have the same feeling I still have years later. Quinton’s “Wingin’ It” is a great book full of color and adventure, but also educates children (via the parental glossary in the back of the book) about ozone pollution, why air quality is important and shares simple steps to help keep our air clean. So not only do I get to take time away from my desk and see new parts of the region, I get to have a hand in creating a better environment and encouraging lifelong learners.

If you know any groups that may want books or calendars, please email me at rhandy@marc.org.

Read ‘Wingin’ It’ and see other air quality educational materials at AirQKC.org.