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Kathy and the KMAC Kids 1998

Kathy and the KMAC Kids 1998

The next time YOU feel crabby or sad or sneeze or cough, remember the air that you breathe can affect the way you feel and behave and live and learn.

Don't forget Crabby Kathy and the KMAC Kids and Super Sleuth Sprout!

Kathy and the KMAC Kids (1998)

Background and Epilogue

The 1998–1999 KMAC Kids (Kids Making A Connection, Health and the Environment) used what they learned in the ToxRAP curriculum to help Kathy, a Title I teacher, who experienced ill health when she taught her classes in their school's library.

Kathy had red itchy eyes. She experienced sinus pain and swelling. She had a sore throat and a stuffy nose. She would sneeze and cough. She would get a headache....and she was really CRABBY!

During the weekends, Kathy felt fine. When the KMAC Kids asked her to teach in another classroom for three days, she didn't have any of the symptoms. The KMAC Kids went sleuthing in the library. They discovered a number of possible hazards including "stinky" felt pens, a copy machine near her desk, parents wearing perfume, dust (that means mites), chemical cleaners, a filter needed to be changed, a smell from the carpet, and more.


On December 18, 1998 the KMAC Kids and Friends presented Kathy with a basket of non-toxic products including odorless felt pens, non-fragrance lotion and shampoo and hair rinse, a non-toxic cleaner, food based vitamins and an air purifier. Kathy also decided to make contact with a health professional to help in strengthening her immune system. And they raised money through two bake sales to buy her an air filter for her library space.

It worked!

Kathy's symptoms went away and she isn't "Crabby" anymore.

The KMAC Kids also decided to write to medical professionals and scientists to gather information about the "synergistic" effects of indoor air contamination. And they pursued possible grants to help pay for measuring formaldehyde in the carpet. In addition, they worked with Mr. Sweet's Sixth Graders to illustrate the Crabby Kathy book.

All these efforts paid off! Their science fair project, "What's in the Air Crabby Kathy" won first place at the All City Science Fair and they were recognized with a gift certificate. They used the certificate to buy books for parents about environmental health, which were placed in the library in memory of a parent who had passed away from breast cancer. The KMAC Kids received a Service Learning Mini Grant. They will use the mini-grant to make copies of the book CRABBY KATHY to share with other third grade classes in the Hooker Oak School, Chico, California 95926. A CD Rom of the book may also be produced by the students from Chico Senior High School; and the University of Arizona Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center, Community Outreach and Engagement Program, will be using the book for teacher training workshops and will also make extra copies of the book for the KMAC students to distribute.

Are there hazards in YOUR environment that are making you CRABBY?

The next time YOU feel crabby or sad or sneeze or cough, remember the air you breathe can affect the way you feel and behave and live and learn.

And don't forget Crabby Kathy and the KMAC Kids and Super Sleuth Sprout! KMAC Kids understand that pure water, clean air, exercise, diet and healthy personal choices affect the way they learn and live.

The Crabby Kathy story was created by the KMAC Kids. Copies may be obtained by contacting KMAC Kids, 1238 Arbutus Ave, Chico, CA 95926; (530) 893-1812. KMAC stands for: Kids Making A Connection, Health & the Environment. This project is partially supported by R25ES08221, an NIEHS grant in K-12 environmental health science education.

Continue on to the Hazard/Source and ToxRAP map.

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