Seasons Greenings: Resources and Events from ED-Green Ribbon Schools

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

Seasons Greenings: Resources and Events from ED-Green Ribbon Schools




#ITeachSTEM Campaign Kicks off January 15, 2014 Teach For America’s STEM Initiative launches an #ITeachSTEM social media campaign on January 15, 2014, to showcase the inspiring and incredible impact of STEM teachers.  The campaign will include stories, photos, and voices from STEM K-12 classroom teachers – bringing to life why teaching is a meaningful STEM profession.  Follow @TFA_STEM and #IteachSTEM on Twitter and Instagram.  Tell your story of STEM teaching by posting a picture, video, or anecdote. >>>


International School Meals Day is March 6, 2014

The 2014 International School Meals Day is March 6th, 2014, also World Book Day.  Schools around the world can celebrate the Day by promoting healthy eating and learning, using the theme Food Stories.  Schools and organizations can connect across the world and share their stories about food through established online education platforms that allow students and teachers to experience learning and teaching beyond their classroom wall, including Connecting Classrooms and Skype in the Classroom. >>>



National Environmental Justice Conference is March 26-28, 2014

Leaders from various sectors will engage in three days of free exchange of new ideas and new approaches to environmental justice. This interactive training session will include voices of experience, research, discussions, and thought-provoking dialogue. The program format will feature needs and challenges of communities, governments, municipalities, tribes, faith-based organizations, and others with an interest in environmental justice. >>>


The Green Schools National Conference is March 27-29th in Sacramento, CA.

This year’s keynote speakers include Matt Bogoshian, U.S. EPA's Senior Policy Counsel at the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, and Yalmaz Siddiqui, Senior Director of Environmental Strategy for Office Depot.  Find out more about the program, including Solution Summits, pre-conference excursions and a special Student Summit.>>>



ED’s Green Strides Webinar Series brings together the various tools that help schools and districts reduce environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach environmental education from a variety of agencies and organizations. Here’s a small sampling of early 2014 webinar offerings:

Jan. 15, 2014, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Learning Site and Your Classroom (Rainforest Alliance)

Jan. 15, 2014, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Improve Asthma Management in Schools (ALA)

Jan. 16, 2014, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Climate: What We Know and How We Know it (NASA)

Jan. 17, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Resolutions on a Better Planet (EarthEcho)

Jan. 28, 2014, 7:00-8:00 p.m. Green Engineering in the Elementary Classroom (NEEF)

Jan. 29, 2014, 7:30-9:00 p.m. Programs for Climate Change Education (USFS)

Feb. 5, 2014, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Service Learning in the Dynamic Classroom (EarthEcho)

Feb. 12, 2014, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Meet the Needs of Common Core (Rainforest Alliance)

Also find resources support your school’s strides in all three Pillars on the Green Strides Resources Page!

New Safe Routes to School Policy Workbook Available

Safe Routes to School encourages students to walk, ride bicycles, or use other forms of active transportation to and from school.  Active transportation improves health, increases the livability of a community, and helps to protect the environment. The Safe Routes to School Policy Workbook is designed to help school board members, administrators, families of students, and community members create and implement policies that support active transportation and Safe Routes to School. >>>


Grants and Contests


EPA Requests Environmental Education Grant Applications

The purpose of the EPA Environmental Education Regional Grant Program is to provide the skills that participants need to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment.   EPA expects to award two or three grants per region and two at headquarters for an expected 22 - 32 grants nationwide, totaling approximately $2,778,940 nationwide. The award amounts for the Regional grants will be no less than $75,000 and no more than $200,000 in federal funds. Applications are due by February 4, 2014. >>>

EPA Requests Applications for Environmental Educator Awards

EPA welcomes applications through February 28th from K-12 public school teachers for the third annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education. The award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with the natural world. Selectees receive $2,000 to support their professional development and their school receives a $2,000 award to fund environmental education activities and programs that support the teacher.>>>


An Opportunity to Bolster Green Career Pathways

Youth CareerConnect, a new grant program, is designed to reward local partnerships among schools, employers, institutions of higher education, workforce partners, non-profits, and community leaders that transform the high school experience by focusing on real-world learning. Through Youth CareerConnect, the U.S. Department of Labor, in collaboration with the U.S Department of Education, will provide $100 million in grants to 25 to 40 local entities that have marshaled their collective strengths to provide transformative high school experiences for their students.  The deadline for application is January 24th, 2014.  >>>


White House Student Film Contest Opens Fall 2014 

The White House has launched the first-ever White House Student Film Festival – and is inviting K-12 students from around the country to create and submit one- to three-minute short web videos. Finalists could have their videos screened at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and posted on the White House website. Submissions for the White House film festival will be accepted from November 25 through January 29, 2014. >>>


In the News

EPA's Draft 2014-2018 Strategic Plan Open for Comment

The EPA is seeking comment from individual citizens, states, tribes, local government, industry, the academic community, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties. The Plan outlines how EPA will make a difference in communities across the country by advancing sustainability, innovation and providing sound scientific advice, technical and compliance assistance and other tools that support states, tribes, cities, towns, rural communities, and the private sector. >>>

NAACP Releases ‘Just Energy’ Report

The NAACP has released a report that assesses energy policy in all 50 states from a civil rights lens. Titled “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs,” the report provides analysis of each state's energy sector policies based on both the environmental and economic impacts. "Powering our nation, protecting the environment and empowering communities of color are not mutually exclusive concepts," according to the report. "In fact they are essential and interrelated calls to action."  The report assesses states on five criteria: Renewable portfolio standards, Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, Net Metering Standards, Local Hire Provisions, and Minority Business Enterprise provisions. >>>

New Investing in Innovation Grant Award

On December 13, ED announced that all 25 of the highest-rated applicants from the 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition secured their required private matching funds and became official grantees.  Together, they will share more than $134 million in federal funding to expand innovative practices designed to improve student achievement.  Of the 25 grantees, 18 are in the “Development” category -- grants that will support implementing new and promising, but relatively untested, projects -- and seven are in the “Validation” category -- grants that will support building organization capacity of projects that have evidence of effectiveness.  As in the past, the grantees address a variety of issues, including five projects focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) course content and instructional practices, four projects focusing on family and parent engagement, and four projects serving rural students and communities.  >>>

American Public Health Association Passes First Policy Resolution on Nature

At their 141st annual meeting in November, APHA for the first time ever passed a policy resolution recognizing the link between spending time outdoors in nature and public health. Resolution number 20137 "calls on public health, medical and other health professionals to raise awareness among patients and the public at-large about the health benefits of spending time in nature and of nature-based play and recreation." >>>


Wishing you a very happy holiday season, from our Green Team to yours!