Claire Barnett, the Founder and Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network, has been selected to receive the 2017 William K. Reilly Environmental Leadership Award. The award will be given at a ceremony hosted by the Center for Environmental Policy in American University's School of Public Affairs, on March 30, 2017, in the Katzen Arts Center on campus.
Barnett founded the Healthy Schools Network, initially a New York statewide unincorporated coalition centered on children’s environmental health, to improve the conditions of school facilities and to promote children’s health and learning. After exporting the model program and cross-cutting coalition into other states, she and the Steering Committee added National Advisers and incorporated as a national 501c3 organization.
Barnett has spoken to legislators, parents, agency leaders, and school officials in her efforts to protect children from environmental health hazards. She has served on many federal and state advisory groups; most recently she serves on the Department of Health and Human Service’s National Coordinating Committee for School Health and Safety. She has also commissioned and or written and edited reports, guides, and Healthy Schools Network’s fact sheets to inform parents, personnel, schools, and policy makers about issues common to schools, including lead in drinking water, dry-erase markers, growing molds, disinfecting wipes, Indoor Air, using green cleaning products, and many other topics. For over 20 years, Barnett has been the voice for many parents, children, personnel, and school leaders as she strives to improve children’s health and the physical conditions of schools.