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PRESS RELEASE: EHT’s Practice Safe Phone Program Kicks Off 2012 Program With Dynamic Mother-Daughter Duo–Rhonda Salerno And Marena Salerno Collins

Apr 18, 2012

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Staffing Hands On Multi-Media Booth At TEDx February 29, 2012 Center For The Arts

Environmental Health Trust announces that Rhonda Salerno will be heading up the Safe Cell Phone Campaign of Jackson for Spring 2012, presenting an interactive media booth to the TEDx Live Stream of the annual TED Conference at the Center for the Arts, February 29. Her daughter, Journey School sophomore, Marena Salerno Collins, an EHT science intern, will be playing classical viola and fiddle tunes, as well as assisting TEDx. A seasoned early childhood educator with a passion for protecting children and their parents from avoidable environmental health hazards, Salerno was the Recipient of the Early Childhood Advocate of the Year Award in 1996 from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Currently an Early Head Start teacher in Jackson, Salerno began working with Environmental Health Trust when she attended Old Bill’s Fun Run last year and met Devra Davis, author of Disconnect—the truth about cellphone radiation. Now in paperback and published in six other languages, including Japanese, and Chinese, Disconnect provides clear and compelling information about the need to Practice Safe Phone. A recent report from Yale University has added further support for the need to take simple precautions, using phones with headsets or speakerphone, and keeping young children from direct exposures.

Rhonda was already familiar with Devra’s work and had heeded the suggestions for protecting her own daughter from the dangers of over-exposure to cell phone radiation and held off as long as she could before buying Marena her first cellphone at the age of 13. Marena is now working at the Journey School with teacher Sammie Smith and fellow student Charlotte Pierce on a project that is part of the Sieman’s Foundation We can Change the World Challenge. Their community-based science project will provide a peer-to-peer educational approach. They will survey fellow students and propose safer ways to use phones, promote recycling, and avoiding texting in dangerous situations. They will be developing clear, concise information about how to practice safe phone, and come up with age-appropriate multi-media messages and materials that educate and motivate the youth population here in the Jackson community. Similar activities are underway in other communities in New York and Pennsylvania, and California.

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