First U.S Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Recognized

ED staff prepare green ribbon sign

Staff from the Department of Education prepare a Green Ribbon sign before today's event.

Today marked another historic milestone for the green schools movement, as the 78 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools announced during Earth Week were recognized at a national ceremony in Washington, DC.  Secretary Arne Duncan joined EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and U.S Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin in congratulating the honorees for their exemplary practices.

The winning schools, diverse in the student populations, and representing 29 states and the District of Columbia, all took a comprehensive approach to greening their schools, making strides to reduce their schools’ environmental impact, improve health and provide education geared toward the sustainability challenges of the 21st century.

Green Ribbon CeremonyDuncan congratulated the schools on their tremendous work, noting their practices to improve student achievement, increase student engagement and provide effective professional development are practices that all should follow, not just aspiring green schools.

While all the selected schools have outstanding stories, Secretary Duncan highlighted Arabia Mountain High School in Lithonia, Ga.,, which requires every student take AP Environmental Science, and is exceeding state and county assessment scores.  At Lothrop Technology Magnet School in Omaha, Neb., school gardens, and complementary practices such as composting, are a critical tool to getting even the youngest students learning and experiencing science first-hand.

ED released a document with highlights and success stories from the 2012 honorees. The Secretary also announced the first installment of the Green Strides Webinar Series, to help all schools move toward reduced environmental impact, improved health and effective sustainability literacy, the three ‘Pillars’ of the award.

Honorees were awarded Forest Stewardship Council and Green Guard certified plaques and biodegradable banners made of recycled bottles. This winter, all schools in participating states will have another opportunity to apply to their state education agencies in competition for state’s nominations for next year’s awards.  ED will publish 2013 criteria this summer for states to develop those competitions and will require state agencies to submit their nominees in early 2013.  Sixteen states have already indicated their intent to nominate schools in the next round of the recognition award competition.

Watch today’s U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award ceremony.

6 Comments

  1. Miller Park Elementary in Omaha Nebraska is one of the proud recipients of The Green Ribbon Schools Award. The Omaha Public School Systems Green Schools Initiative along with Green Schools Program have already garnered in excess of 1 Million dollars in savings to our school district this year alone.
    Thanks to everyone that recognized us this year as we focus on continuing Energy Savings , Recycling Efforts and teaching our Kids to sustain the Green Schools agenda!

  2. We were honored to have Purdy School in Fort Atkinson be chosen as a Green Ribbon School.

    Dr. James Fitzpatrick Superintendent.

  3. I am pleased that these green schools have been recognized. I’d like the DOE to visit my school that has brown water in 20 year old water fountains, broken/leaky faucets and sinks and toilets, doors off hinges, bugs/mice, ceiling/windows falling out, unsafe light fixtures and switches, only two plugins per room with a room full of wires, etc. I’m sure numerous schools across the nation would love to be a green school, but first they need to be a SAFE, HEALTHY, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY,and SECURE place for children. Let’s meet the immediate needs of our children AS we become GREEN.

  4. I am pleased tnat these green schools have been recognized. I’d like the DOE to visit my school that has brown water in 20 year old water fountains, broken/leaky faucets and sinks and toilets, doors off hinges, bugs/mice, ceiling/windows falling out, unsafe light fixtures and switches, only two plugins per room with a room full of wires, etc. I’m sure numerous schools across the nation would love to be a green school, but first they need to be a SAFE, HEALTHY, ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY,and SECURE place for children. Let’s meet the immediate needs of our children AS we become GREEN.

  5. Dimensions of Learning Academy (Kenosha, Wisconsin) is a proud recipient of the inaugural Green Ribbon Schools Award 2012! All of the kids were so happy today when our representatives from the ceremony returned to our school to present THEM with a beautiful plaque and the wonderful words of so many individuals and organizations that honored them with this distinction. Great job Ms Falken!

  6. Congratulations Bethlehem Central, NY and all the other schools in being great examples of good stewardship of our schools, communities, and global environment.

    Outstanding!!!!!

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