U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. was joined by Managing Director of the White House Council of Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss today to announce the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees on the Department’s YouTube channel. Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
In Virginia, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Middle School in Alexandria; Charlottesville City Schools in Charlottesville; and Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia Beach are among those being honored nationwide for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
“I congratulate these schools, districts and postsecondary institutions for their commitment to sustainable facilities, health, and classroom practices,” King said. “The healthiest, most inspiring school facilities can and should be another tool to level the playing field, particularly for underserved students. These honorees are 21st century learning environments that encourage every student and teacher to perform at his or her best.”
“Earth Day reminds us of the great strides we’ve made to address climate change and protect our planet, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that our children and grandchildren can experience our earth’s natural treasures just as we have,” said Goldfuss. “By inspiring young people to connect with their environment every day, today’s honorees are creating the next generation of environmental stewards.”
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The honorees include 41 public schools and six private schools. The schools serve various grade levels, including 27 elementary, 18 middle, and 14 high schools, with several schools having various K-12 configurations. Fifty-one percent of the 2016 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The postsecondary honorees include two community colleges and one work-college.
The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 73 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.