Season’s Greenings From the ED Green Team to Yours

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

Season’s Greenings from our Green Team to Yours


In the News:


Green School Educators & Administrators: Apply to ED Teacher & Principal Fellowships

Applications for the Department’s 2015-16 Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows are now available.  Green schools educators and administrators are invited to apply.  Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows spend one year learning about key federal programs and policies, sharing their expertise with federal staff members, and providing background on federal initiatives to other educators. Positions are paid and available on a full and part-time basis for one year. Applications must be received by January 20. >>>>


Last Chance to Enter U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools 2015  

While many states’ competitions have already closed for this year, a few have January deadlines for schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions.  Interested PK-12 schools and districts should contact their state education agencies. Interested colleges and universities should contact their state higher education authorities. Hearing from interested schools, districts, colleges, and universities may be helpful to P-12 and postsecondary state authorities considering participation this or in future years. It’s not too early to begin preparing to apply for 2016.  Some Frequently Asked Questions on all three award categories are available here. And stay tuned:  ED will announce the 2015 honorees on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2015. >>>>


U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Related Research Galore

In the last few weeks, three studies were published on the impact of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award, and green schools practices and leadership.  Read the full articles here: "U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools: Leadership Insights and Implications," (Sterrett, Imig, and Moore); “Environmental Education and Sustainability in U.S. Public Schools,” (Chapman); and “How Do Sustainable Schools Integrate Environmental Education?,” (Warner and Elser). 


Students plant sawtooth oak trees at Druid Hill Elementary in Omaha, NE. Omaha Public School District is a 2014 District Sustainability Awardee.

Upcoming Events:

EE summit

The National Energy Education Summit is Jan. 26, 2015 in Washington, DC

The National Energy Education Summit is a first of its kind national forum for energy educators, subject matter experts, and leaders in the field of energy education to convene. The convening will focus attention on the improvement and expansion of energy education across the nation's schools, community colleges, and universities. The summit includes organized symposia, presentations, posters and workshops on sharing best practices, and how to advance various aspects of energy education across the educational pipeline. Register here. >>>>


Children: Food and Environment Conference is Feb. 4-6, 2015 in Austin, TX

The Children’s Environmental Health Network, a non-profit whose mission is to protect children from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment, will convene for the organization’s upcoming research conference February 4-6, 2015 in Austin, Texas.  The theme for the conference is “Children: Food and Environment” and the focus is on how the interaction between food and environmental factors affect children’s health. >>>>


The 5th Annual Green Schools National Conference is March 4-7th in Virginia Beach, VA

The annual Green Schools National Conference, the only national conference bringing together experts and stakeholders to influence sustainability in K-12 schools and districts, is designed to allow attendees to learn about creative strategies for success and to take home real-life tools that can transform schools.  Register here. >>>>

A student tests a specimen during District Science Night at Council Rock HS South in Holland, PA. Council Rock School District is a 2014 District Sustainability Awardee.


ED’s Green Strides Webinar Series continues with the tools ALL schools can use to reduce costs; improve health; and teach effective environmental education. Find sessions for educators, facilities managers, and advocates weekly. 

Jan. 8, 2014, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.            Federal Principles Checklist in ENERGY STAR (EPA)

Jan. 14, 2015, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.          Summer Meals:  Funding and Grant Opportunities (USDA)

Jan. 22, 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.          Summer Meals:  Engaging Tribal Organizations (USDA)

Jan. 27, 2015, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.          Summer Meals:  Explore the New Toolkit (USDA)


Grants, Contests, and Awards:


Department of Energy’s Hydrogen Student Design Contest Closes Jan. 16

The 11th annual Hydrogen Student Design Contest challenges students to develop business and financing models for hydrogen fueling stations. Through the contest, multidisciplinary student teams from universities around the globe demonstrate their talents in business, finance, engineering, public planning, architecture, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The top teams are invited to present their design to a panel of industry professionals and investors, and the winning teams present their approach at a major industry conference.  Visit the contest website for eligibility, rules, and guidelines and to register. >>>>


Submit to Nature’s Voices Student Story Contest by Jan. 16

Green Schools Initiative and the Green Schools National Network are offering the second annual Nature's Voices Student Story Contest to amplify the stories of young people creating a sustainable future. Students grades 6-12 are invited to submit 500-1,000 word essays about how green schools and environmental education experiences have inspired them, changed their thinking, or transformed their lives. Selectees can win cash prizes and paid trips to share their story at the Green Schools National Conference  in March 2015. Submit stories by January 16, 2015. >>>>

EPA logo

EPA’s Environmental Education Model Grants Applications Due Feb. 2

The Environmental Education Model Grants Program seeks grant proposals from state, local, and tribal education authorities, postsecondary institutions, and non-profits that promote environmental awareness and stewardship, and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. >>>>


Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Applications Due Feb. 3

EPA offers grants to nonprofit organizations and other entities to deliver environmental workforce development and job training programs focused on hazardous and solid waste management, assessment, and cleanup associated activities, chemical safety, emergency response, integrated pest management, and waste and storm water management. These grants are provided to develop environmental programs that recruit, train, and place, unemployed and under-employed, including low-income and minority, residents historically affected by hazardous and solid waste sites and facilities with the skills needed to secure full-time, sustainable employment in the environmental field and in the assessment and cleanup work taking place in their communities. >>>>


UL Innovative Education Award Phase 1 Applications Due Feb. 27

The UL Innovative Education Award recognizes the work of nonprofits that embrace E-STEM to inspire school-aged children to be the next generation of game-changing scientists, business leaders, researchers, inventors, and engineers.   The award supports work that is advancing STEM learning through research and investigation, promoting social responsibility and citizenship, and tackling environmental problems.  In addition to grants, UL science, engineering and technical experts will work directly with the selected organizations to provide expertise, resources, and volunteer hours to help further their efforts in E-STEM education. >>>>


The 2015 ED-Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award: Nominations Due March 1st

The Director’s Award recognizes state education authorities’ exemplary efforts to administer U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS).  Annually, the ED-GRS Director’s Award goes to the state education official who does the most to advance sustainable education in their state, by such means as: running a robust nomination process; connecting more schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions to sustainability resources; amplifying the stories of their applicants and honorees; helping schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions connect to and learn from one another; partnering with a variety of state and non- and for-profit private sector entities; and exhibiting a dedication to exceptional school facilities, health, and environmental education through activities outside of the ED-GRS award. If you wish to nominate a state education official, please send your nomination and justification to by March 1st.  Any state education official who is involved in implementing the ED-GRS award and who has not already won the Director’s Award is eligible for nomination.  Read about the work of past Director’s Award recipients here. >>>>


Enter the DuPont Science Writing Competitions

The DuPont Challenge - Science Writing Competition recently expanded to include a brand new competition for grades K-5 based on the Next Generation Science Standards.  This competition runs until Mar. 1, 2015. The DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition for middle and high school students is open for submission until Jan. 31, 2015.  In this competition, students address challenges related to food, energy, protection and innovation. >>>>


National Institutes of Health Offers Two Childhood Asthma Grant Opportunities

The Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities indicates that in order to make substantial progress in reducing disparities we will require research to design, execute and evaluate implementation programs that maximize synergies among all key sectors to create a system of care that focuses on children most in need and reaches them where they live, learn and play. To this end, two research grant opportunities have been released by the National Institutes of Health for 2015 and 2017. >>>>

Students spread bark dust for their new outdoor classroom at Hough Elementary School in Vancouver, WA. Vancouver School District is a 2014 District Sustainability Awardee.



Calling Green Schools High School Students to Join the National Green Schools Society

National Green Schools Society, offered by Project Green Schools, provides a structured chapter-based program for high-achieving, environmentally focused students to create extraordinary impact in schools, organizations, and communities while getting the recognition they deserve on a state and national level. By establishing a NGSS chapter, students in grades 2 through 12 can advance their passion for preserving the environment through environmental service projects, leadership, and activism. Learn more and start a chapter today! >>>>


Collaborative for High Performance Schools Available to all US States & DC

The goal of Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) is to fundamentally change the design, construction, and operation of schools to protect student and staff health; conserve energy, water, and other natural resources; and reduce waste, pollution, and environmental degradation. CHPS released US-CHPS, a version of the CHPS Criteria rating system that can be used in every state and the District of Columbia. Until this release, only school districts in the thirteen states could participate in the program.  The US-CHPS 2014 Criteria can be downloaded here.  >>>>


EPA Publishes Energy Savings and Indoor Air Quality Guidance for Schools

EPA released Energy Savings Plus Health: Indoor Air Quality Guidelines for School Building Upgrades. The Guidelines provide school districts with tools to integrate indoor air quality protections into school energy efficiency retrofits and building upgrade projects, thus helping schools implement important energy efficiency upgrades without compromising occupant health.  By following the recommendations outlined, school districts can reap the benefits of improved student and staff health and reduced operational costs. >>>>

Students help with the semi-annual electronics recycling drive held at Carmel High School, a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, in Carmel, IN.

Connect with Green Strides on the Web

Green Strides: Environment, Health and Facilities at ED
ED-Green Ribbon Schools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon
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