ED to Announce 2015 Honorees on Earth Day

Green Strides Design


          U.S. Department of Education

   Green Strides

ED to Announce 2015 Honorees on Earth Day


Mark Your Calendar: ED to Announce 2015 Honorees on Earth Day, April 22nd

Each year, by February 1st, U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

(ED-GRS) asks state authorities to send their highest performing nominees (up to five PK-12 schools or districts and one postsecondary institution) in three broad areas that we call Pillars.  Pillar I is “Reducing Environmental Impact and Costs,” including waste, water, greenhouse gases, energy, and alternative transportation.  Pillar II is “Improving Health and Wellness,” including physical activity, nutrition, and environmental health.  Pillar III is “Teaching Effective Environmental Education, including STEM, civics, and green careers.  Rather than naming great numbers of honorees, we use just a few selectees to help communicate promising practices and resources that all schools can employ in our Green Strides newsletter, social media, and tour.  The federal review and selection process has begun! Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s announcement of the 2015 honorees will be made available on the Department’s YouTube site at 2pm ET on April 22, 2015. >>>>


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

Now that states’ nominees are in, you may wish to take a moment to focus on state officials’ good work.  After all, the recognition award would not be possible without their voluntary participation!  Annually, the ED-GRS Director’s Award recognizes state education authorities’ exemplary efforts to administer ED-GRS.  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 letter of recommendation to ed.green.ribbon.schools@ed.gov by March 1st.  Any state education official who is involved in implementing the ED-GRS award and who has not already won the award is eligible.  Read about the work of past Director’s Award recipients here. >>>>


Lifting America’s Game in Climate Education, Literacy, and Training

The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy is aiming to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change through their Climate Education and Literacy Initiative. The initiative includes a number of commitments by Federal agencies and outside groups.  Administration commitments include equipping National Park Service employees with climate-relevant resources, enhancing energy literacy, and harnessing digital platforms to disseminate climate information. >>>>

FE Burleson Elementary
Outdoor classroom, butterfly habitat, butterfly house, and greenhouse all used for student instruction at F.E. Burleson Elementary School in Hartselle, Alabama.

Upcoming Events:


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.  Among the presenters are numerous past U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees as well as federal and non-profit Green Strides webinar and resource partners.  Register here. >>>>

Science Festival

USA Science and Engineering Festival is April 15-17th, 2016 in Washington, DC

The fourth biennial USA Science and Engineering Festival, featuring more than 1,000 participating corporations and organizations and over 3,000 hands-on exhibits and stage shows, will take place April 15-17, 2016, in Washington, D.C.  The festival will feature several contests for K-12 students.  Currently, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) Classroom Design Prize challenges students to design creative strategies for engaging more women in computer science and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by altering classroom environments. >>>>


Grants, Contests, and Awards:


Call for Entries: Audubon Youth and Adult Photography Awards Due Feb. 23

The National Audubon Society, in association with Nature’s Best Photography, wants to see your love of birds and photography.  Showcase your best work by entering the Audubon Photography Awards.  There are spectacular prizes up for grabs, including trips and high-end photo gear.  Winning photos will run in both Audubon and Nature’s Best Photography magazines.  Read the rules and FAQs. >>>>


UL Innovative Education Award Phase 1 Applications are 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 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. >>>>


Calling Green Schools 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! >>>>

Red Clay SD
Vegetable gardens are maintained by students, with help from teachers and school nurses, at Red Clay Consolidated School District's Highlands Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware.


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. 

Feb. 5, 2015, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.            How to Skype in the Classroom (FNS)

Feb. 10, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.          Telling Your Story:  Success with the Media (NFSN)

Mar. 10, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.          Making Change: Farm to School Policy (NFSN)


Connect with Green Strides on the Web

Green Strides: Environment, Health and Facilities at ED
ED-Green Ribbon Schools
Twitter: @EDGreenRibbon
Sign up for Green Strides updates here.