Ogden promoting ‘idle-free’ week with cute scene all parents have lived

Posted at 11:16 AM, Feb 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-08 21:04:44-05

Ogden idle freeOGDEN, Utah - Children in Ogden are cracking down on parents to try to make cleaner air for their future.

Ogden City announced this week as "Idle Free Week.”

Shadow Valley Elementary School teachers and children have been noticing for years parents idle their cars when they pick up their kids after school.

“When I am at recess I look up and there are cars and they (parents) are staring at their phones and the pollution is coming out (of their cars) and it's kind of sad because they all are in line to get their kids but they are going to wait there for 20 minutes,” said sixth grader Grace Pulley.

Grace is one of several students who has qualified to be “Green Ambassadors” at their school.  She is deeply concerned for the environment.

“I don't know what they are thinking because it's their world and it's our future,” Grace said of the parents idling their vehicles. “They've already experienced their future but it's now kind if our future.  When I'm going to go be an adult I am going to turn my key and be idle free. I'll remember this.”

Grace and her friend Tori Calista talked with FOX 13 about what their goal is this week.

“This week we are focusing more on Idle Free Week,” Tori said.

Tori explained how they all made little blue ribbons with tags that state: “Hang me somewhere you will see, turn your key, be idle free.”

On Monday at about 3:30 p.m., Tori and the other Green Ambassadors handed the ribbons out to parents as they pulled up to pick up their children after school.

Tori explained last year the Green Ambassadors tried to ask parents to stop idling but it didn’t work. She said students would give parents idling their vehicles a dirty look.

Shadow Elementary School teacher, Mrs. Cayme Olsen, who also recently won the Outstanding Elementary Educator award from the Utah Science Teacher Association, oversees the Green Ambassadors.

“We thought, what's one small change we can make in our own school community and we really saw this problem of the after school pickup is the one time we could change,” Olsen said. “And if we could change their behavior then maybe they will carry it on to their daily lives.”

She was encouraged by the city’s effort the last four years to have an “idle free” week.

“(Ogden) Mayor Caldwell is my neighbor, he just lives down the road,” Olsen said enthusiastically. “He is involved with this.”

The mayor will also be coming to visit Shadow Elementary on Friday to talk with this students about being idle free and what it means for Utah.

Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary School also had “idle free” signs made by the children and posted them outside for parents to see.

Students at Saint Joseph Catholic Elementary were also sent home with notes that asked their parents to pledge to be idle free. Parents have to sign the note and have their child return it to school. In return, the child gets an “idle free” sticker.

It’s just another way to spread the idle free message.

The city of Ogden released a video that shows a child being embarrassed to admit a woman in her car is her mother, after she sees her mother idling. Watch the video here:

More information about Idle Free Week can be found at: