Administration Honors U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions; Announces 2016 Green Strides Tour

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Administration Honors U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, Districts, and Postsecondary Institutions; Announces 2016 Green Strides Tour

July 20, 2016

Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Christine Harada, and Deputy Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Anisa Baldwin-Metzger joined U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools’ District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

At the event, 47 schools and 15 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education. In addition, 11 colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Representatives from honored schools, districts and postsecondary institutions received sustainably-crafted plaques in recognition of their achievements.

“I congratulate these honorees that are leaders in school facilities, wellness and environmental education practices,” King said. “Their common-sense approach to investing more in education – rather than in utility bills – improves health and attendance, while exciting students about hands-on, real world learning. Healthy, safe and efficient facilities as well as access to sustainability education are innovative ways to boost productivity and performance at every grade level.”

"With ongoing threats to our environment, we need to prepare for a future different from our own. The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School awards are an outstanding example to get today's youth to think and act towards building a more sustainable future," said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews.

"It is exciting to see the great commitment that our nation's schools have for environmental sustainability," said Federal Chief Sustainability Officer Christine Harada. "This exemplary effort will not only save these schools energy and much needed money, but it will also show that even the youngest in our society can reduce their carbon footprint and make a difference in protecting our planet."

“This year’s awardees have much to be proud of - from innovative operational practices that save their schools valuable funds to pioneering education that involves students in the creation of a more sustainable world,” said Deputy Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Anisa Baldwin-Metzger. “We commend these schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions on their hard work, and we applaud the Department of Education’s commitment to honoring their success in positively impacting the environment, supporting health and wellness, and advancing environmental and sustainability literacy.”

King also announced the annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour, this year under the theme “Real World Learning.” This year’s tour will take place in September and spotlight sustainability education in past and present school, district and postsecondary honorees in Pennsylvania.

The honorees were selected from a pool of nominations made by 27 state education authorities, including 25 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The list of selectees includes 41 public schools and six private schools. The public schools include three charter and eight magnet schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle and 14 high schools are among them, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Thirty-seven of the 2016 honorees (51 percent) serve a disadvantaged student body and among them are two community colleges and one work-college.

View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 73 honorees.  More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.