Twenty schools registered as GreenSchools! through the Project Learning Tree/U.S. Forest Service program are among 64 schools and 14 school districts honored April 22 as by the U.S. Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School.
The Education Department gave the awards for the schools’ exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
The schools were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 32 state education agencies. The list includes 54 public and 10 private schools. More than half serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced price lunch.
“The unique aspect of our GreenSchools! program is that we emphasize the voice of the students as the force behind directing their school and community to become more environmentally responsible,” said Heidi McAllister, acting director of the Forest ServiceConservation Education Program. “The Forest Service is proud to be part of the movement toward green schools.”
“We’re thrilled that 20 PLT GreenSchools! have been recognized as the 'best of the best,' ” said James McGirt, manager of Education Programs for Project Learning Tree. “Through our partnership with the Forest Service more than 2,000 schools nationwide are participating in PLT’s GreenSchools! program, impacting approximately 1 million students annually. We offer teachers and students training, a set of GreenSchools! investigations, and grants for service-learning projects for students to create healthy and sustainable schools and incorporate environmental education into their curriculum.”
The following schools registered as a GreenSchools! received the Education Department’s Green Ribbon Schools Award:
Connecticut: Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker, Hartford
District of Columbia: Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School; Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
Kansas: Bluejacket-Flint Elementary School, Shawnee
Kentucky: Locust Trace AgriScience Farm, Lexington
Nebraska: King Science and Technology Magnet Center, Omaha
Rhode Island: The Compass School, Kingston
Tennessee: Ivy Academy, Soddy-Daisy
Washington: The Evergreen School, Shoreline
Wisconsin: Westlawn Elementary School, Cedarburg; Racine Montessori School, Racine
The Education Department also awarded Green School Awards to the following school districts. The registered GreenSchools! are listed after their respective district:
Arkansas: Fayetteville District: Asbell Elementary
Colorado: Douglas County School District: Castle View High School
Florida: School District of Palm Beach County: Palmetto, Pine Jog and Waterbridge elementary schools, and Wellington High School
Georgia; Gwinnett County Public Schools: Knight and White Oak elementary schools
Wisconsin: School District of Fort Atkinson: Purdy Elementary School
Also receiving an award from the Education Department is the Munford Middle and Munford High schools in Munford, Ala., both part of the Adopt-a-School program through the Forest Service Sustainable Operations Office.