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Western New York school districts cancel outdoor activities during air quality advisory

Gov. Kathy Hochul is also recommending that districts cancel outdoor activities.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Many school districts in Western New York on Wednesday decided to cancel outdoor activities during and after school because of an air quality advisory in place

Gov. Kathy Hochul also said on Wednesday that she recommends school districts keep activities inside. 

"We are asking all of our schools to limit strenuous activity outdoors so that means kids won't be able to use the playgrounds today and physical education classes are indoors," Grand Island Central School District superintendent Brian Graham said.

He says it also means any athletic practices and games are also canceled for both today and tomorrow. 

Buffalo Public Schools and Amherst Central Schools have done the same. 

"We're really following what's already been established through other states, California in particular has a document that outlines air quality as it relates to smoke. Obviously they have more wildfires to deal with than we do. So we're really using those standard benchmarks to determine when to limit strenuous activity outdoors," Graham said. 

The Ken-Ton School District also canceled outdoor activities due to the air quality. 

Even some little league teams decided to cancel games, including Lake Shore Little League and Central Amherst Little League, where general manager Brian Emerson admits it's been a tough season.  

"This is really strange and it's the first time we've had to cancel baseball because of air quality conditions," Emerson said. "Our season started in the beginning of May and it's been a tough start this spring. We've had a lot of rain outs, a lot of missed games."

He says they've had to cancel five games in a season that lasts only two months. 

Central Amherst Little League has more than 600 kids, including preschoolers and many of the attendees are grandparents, which also impacted the decision to cancel. 

"The kids want to play baseball, so it's a hard decision to cancel but we want to keep the kids safe. We want to play but we only want to do it if it's safe," Emerson said. 

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