ED Announces the 2015 Director's Award Recipient

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U.S. Department of Education

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Lynn Bamberry

ED-Green Ribbon Schools Announces 2015 Director’s Award Recipient Lynn Bamberry

The Director’s Award recognizes a State Education Agency (SEA) official’s exemplary efforts to administer the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award in his or her state.  The ED-GRS Director’s Award is given annually to the state education agency official who does the most to advance green schools in his or her state by: running a robust competition and nomination process; connecting schools to resources in all three Pillars; amplifying the stories of honorees; helping schools learn from one another; partnering with a variety of entities to bring more resources and expertise into schools; and exhibiting a dedication to exceptional school facilities, health, and environmental education through activities outside of the administration of the ED-GRS award.  Letters of support for the Director’s Award are sent to ED by March 1st of every year.

ED has selected Lynn Bamberry, Director of Competitive Grants and Awards, Colorado Department of Education as recipient of the 2015 Director’s Award.  Lynn is being recognized for her work to continually improve the Colorado application process; for ensuring comprehensive nomination packages from school, district, and postsecondary nominees; for overseeing the Colorado leg of Green Strides Best Practices Tour in Fall 2014; for effectively working with partners and sponsors to create mechanisms for mentoring potential applicants; for successfully fundraising for honorees’ travel and the Green Strides Best Practices Tour; and for leading the state to nominate for the new postsecondary award.  Because of her knack for recognizing success, Lynn and her team have become synonymous with the three Pillars in the state of Colorado.

Lynn will be honored, alongside schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions at a ceremony in Washington, DC on June 3rd.


ED to Announce 2015 Honorees on Earth Day, April 22nd

Each year, 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 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.  These few selectees help us to 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 is nearly complete!  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s announcement of the 2015 honorees will be made available on the Department’s YouTube site at 2 p.m. ET on April 22, 2015. >>>>

Red Clay Consolidated SD, DE
A student shows off a radish that was grown in Highlands Elementary School’s vegetable garden at Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Del. Red Clay Consolidated School District is a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee.

Upcoming Events:

National Healthy Schools Day

Celebrate National Healthy Schools Day on April 7, 2015

Since 2002, parents, teachers, school nurses, custodians, advocates, and agencies have promoted National Healthy Schools Day activities and events nationwide. There are many ways to be involved in Healthy Schools Day, from distributing Indoor Air Quality information to hosting a green cleaning workshop at your school. Learn more about planning an activity in your neighborhood. >>>>

EE Week

National Environmental Education Week is April 19-25th, 2015

This year, National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) looks at how science can help us better understand the natural world with the theme Surrounded by Science.  EE Week works to celebrate the educators who are making a difference in the world of environmental education and provide them with the tools they need to continue inspiring the next generation of lifelong environmental learners.  Register for EE Week 2015 to receive updates and to take advantage of access to professional development opportunities, advance notice of Greening STEM toolkits and resources, partner deals, and contest eligibility. >>>>

Endangered Species Day

Endangered Species Day is May 15, 2015

Zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, wildlife refuges, conservation groups, national parks, museums, and schools throughout the country will hold tours, open houses, special presentations, exhibits, milkweed plantings and butterfly garden installations, habitat clean-ups and other restoration events, and children’s activities on May 15, that weekend, and throughout May. Participate in a local event or take action individually. >>>>

Green Clean Schools Leadership Summit

The Green Clean Schools Leadership Summit is July 30-31, 2015

This summer, Healthy Schools Campaign will host the first annual Green Clean Schools Leadership Summit in Seattle, WA.  Facility managers, school decision makers, green cleaning experts, and vendors from across the nation are invited to come together in the name of healthier schools.  The summit serves as an opportunity for leaders in the field to connect, share their knowledge and grow their programs. >>>>


Green Apple Day of Service is September 26, 2015

The Green Apple Day of Service (GADOS) gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects.  Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, read about last year's impact, find an event in your area and register your 2015 project.  Watch this video where Secretary Duncan gets involved in Green Apple Day of Service.  >>>>

Omaha Public Schools, NE
Students work to improve an outdoor learning area which is lined with fruit trees and filled with plants in Omaha, Nebr. Omaha Public Schools is a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Awardee.



Let’s Get Every Kid in a Park

Starting in September, every fourth-grader in the nation will receive an “Every Kid in a Park” pass that’s good for free admission to all of America’s federal lands and waters — for them and their families — for a full year.  Many children don’t visit these places because they can’t get there easily, so federal resources will be available to help schools and families arrange field trips and visits by providing key trip-planning tools, and helping to cover transportation costs for schools with the greatest financial need.  Learn more at this fact sheet. >>>>


SEED Partners with the Department of Energy to Develop Better Building Guidelines

The SEED Center has joined the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines project as the national lead in supporting community colleges in developing high quality and nationally recognized training and certification programs.  The guidelines for commercial building professions can help establish national skills, standards, and credentials that align with curricula and industry.  Are you thinking about developing coursework in commercial building management or already offer this?  Share your thoughts and get involved. >>>>

Energy Literacy Video Series

Watch the Department of Energy’s New Energy Literacy Video Series

Energy plays a major role in the everyday functions of our planet and all its life forms.  From weather patterns and food chains, to human society's daily electricity and heating needs, energy drives everything.  See these processes come to life in a new video series created by the Department of Energy, American Geosciences Institute, and the National Center for Science Education.  The series highlights the seven Energy Literacy Principles, which demonstrate energy's role across the natural and social sciences.  Teachers can incorporate these videos into the classroom using the accompanying lesson guides.  The series will also be available in Spanish. >>>>


Technical Assistance for Educational Facilities is Available

The Education Facilities Clearinghouse (EFC) has assembled a group of subject matter experts to serve as a Technical Working Group.  The group can provide technical assistance to public schools, school divisions, State Education Agencies, and public institutions of higher learning in the areas of school sustainability, school building environmental health, school safety, and more.  Schools may be eligible for free assistance if they are a public school located within the United States and its territories, including Pre-K facilities.  Priority will be given to underserved schools and districts.  These services may be provided on-site, by telephone, or electronically. >>>>

First and second graders work on the organic garden at Tomorrow River Community Charter School in Amherst Junction, Wisc. Tomorrow River Community Charter school is a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School.

Grants, Contests and Awards:

Green Difference Award

Apply for Green Schools’ 7th Annual Green Difference Awards by April 12th

The Green Difference Awards honor environmental excellence, innovation, and stewardship.  Schools, administrators, students, clubs, organizations, and outstanding environmental leaders of all ages from across the nation are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the green schools movement.  Green Schools is now accepting applications for the 7th Annual Green Difference Awards being held at the Massachusetts State House on May 26, 2015 from 10 am - 12 pm.  The application period has been extended until April 12, 2015. >>>>


Enter the ‘Be A Backyard Superhero’ Contest by April 13th

Enter the “Be a Backyard Superhero” contest for a chance to win $5,000 to spruce up your school’s green space.  Students compete by describing in 150–200 words how they are "Backyard Superheroes" and combat environmental villains.  Students draw pictures of their missions and attach character cutouts from Scholastic to their drawings.  Learn more and apply before April 13, 2015.  >>>>


Apply for a Fruit Tree Planting Foundation Orchard in Your Community

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) strategically donates orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, including at community gardens, public schools, city and state parks, low-income neighborhoods, and Native American reservations.  Learn more and download the application. >>>>



Apr. 8, 2015, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.            Promoting Your Summer Meals Program (USDA)

Apr. 23, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.          Portfolio Manager Office Hours (EPA)

Apr. 28, 2015, 11am – 12:00 p.m.      Operation Report Card (CHPS)

Apr. 28, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.          Portfolio Manager 101 (EPA)

Apr. 29, 2015, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.          Portfolio Manager 201 (EPA)

Apr. 29, 2015, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.          Summer Meals:  Recruit Staff and Volunteers (USDA)

Apr. 30, 2015, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.          How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR (EPA)

Apr. 30, 2015, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.          Safe Schools by Design (EFC)


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.