The 2013 Honorees are Coming...

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Green Strides

U.S. Department of Education 



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Mark Your Calendars! TheThe 2013 Honorees are Coming...

ED-GRS is a flurry of activity as some 45 reviewers from four federal agencies read nomination packages submitted by 30+ states. Among them are public, private, charter and magnet nominees, elementary through high school nominees, and district nominees. With large numbers of underserved schools nominated, the 2013 cohort is poised to confirm that green school practices -- environment as an integrating context to teach all subjects in hands-on, project-based learning, good environmental health, regular wellness practices, and attention to facilities maintenance, operations and sustainability -- are important and cost-effective tools to increase achievement, improve health, and reduce inequities.


On Earth Day, April 22nd, at 10am EST, the Department will announce the winners live here, notify selectees via email, release the second annual Highlights of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Honorees, and post all honorees’ nomination packages online. The 2013 cohort will also include the Department’s first District Sustainability Award honorees. Don’t miss it!

 NEW Facilities Report: State of Our Schools 2013

With a foreword by President Clinton, and wide-ranging support from the Council on Educational Facilities Planners International, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the American Lung Association and other key national groups at the intersection of facilities, health and environment, the new Center for Green Schools report provides a concise and coherent picture of the state of school facilities. The report’s expert analysis from the 21st Century School Fund, with support from the National Council on School Facilities, indicates that schools are currently facing a $271 billion deferred maintenance bill and provides thoughtful, pragmatic recommendations. >>>  

Check Out Green Strides: Environment, Health and Facilities at ED 

If you haven’t already, come visit us! The new U.S. Department of Education Green Strides page provides all school communities access to the tools that help them move toward the Pillars of our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award, including a full list of STEM programs at ED.  

 Get Ready for More Sessions of the Green Strides Webinar Series

The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental literacy, including STEM, green careers, and civic engagement. Mar. 20, 2013, 4-5 p.m. Radiation Exposure on Earth (NASA) 

Apr. 3, 2013, 2-3 p.m. The Three T’s of Reducing Lead in Drinking Water in Schools (EPA) 

Apr. 3, 2013, 7-8 p.m. 21st C. Tools for Environmental Learning (NEEF/ Green Teacher) 

Apr. 10, 2013, 4-5 p.m. Pathways to Green Jobs and Careers in Natural Resources (USDA) 

April 16, 2013 at 4-5 p.m. Greening STEM: Taking Technology Outdoors (NEEF/ EPA) 

April 24, 2013, 4-5 p.m. STEM Connections (USDA) 

May 1, 2013, 4-5 p.m. Bringing Climate Change Home (USDA) 

May 8, 2013, 2-3 p.m. Drinking Water Best Management Practices for Schools and Child Care Facilities (EPA) 

Find more sessions for educators, facilities managers, and advocates weekly. >>> 


Funding Update

The deadlines for several grant competitions are approaching:

Carol M. White Physical Education Program (closes 4/12) provides funding for districts and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs to help students meet their state’s physical education standards.>>> 


Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant Program (closes 4/15) provides funding for national non-profit organizations for projects that are supported by evidence to recruit, select, and prepare professional enhancement activities for teachers and leaders with a priority for STEM education proposals.>>>


Turf Mutt Spruce Up Your School Sweepstakes (closes 3/ 21) offers a chance to win a $5,000 grant to help make your school's play area more eco-friendly.>>> 


And, just last week, the Secretary announced that 11 states will receive grants to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools under the School Improvement Grants Program.>>>  



Let’s Move! Active Schools Hits the Schoolyard! 

First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary Duncan participated in an event in Chicago with 6,500 students in what may have been the largest coordinated recess in history. The First Lady set the goal of engaging 50,000 schools in the next five years, with support from private sector partners. The U.S. Department of Education also aligned its $80 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program to prioritize schools most in need. >>> 

 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools continues to encourage all schools to provide quality outdoor physical activity. From tending their organic school gardens to restoring local trails, green schools keep students active and healthy, as they learn outdoors! 

TIME Sits Down with the Fittest People 

Dr. David Satcher, 16th U.S. Surgeon General and GENYOUth Foundation board member, offers tips on how he stays fit and recognizes some of the programs employed by ED-GRS honorees that encourage future generations to do the same. >>>  

 Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Video on Education 

The short film highlights how the new Urban Waters Federal Partnership is providing effective, hands-on wetland restoration education. Hear from students and government officials about why this is a fundamental part of conservation, civic and education goals. >>> 

 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Report Released at Partnership for a Healthier America Summit 

The report focuses on strategies to increase physical activity among youth. >>> 


 Get Involved with Upcoming Events


Celebrate National Wildlife Week March 18-24, 2013 

National Wildlife Week is National Wildlife Federation’s longest-running education program designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife. >>>    

 Celebrate National Public Health Week April 1-7, 2013 

For close to two decades, communities across the country have celebrated National Public Health Week each April by highlighting public health achievements and raising awareness of issues important to improving the public’s health. >>> 

 Mathematics Awareness Month, April 2013: Mathematics of Sustainability 

Mathematics Awareness Month has two nationwide initiatives: Sustainability Counts! to provide K-16 math educators and students an opportunity to engage in the mathematics of sustainability; and the Speakers’ Bureau of mathematicians, scientists and sustainability professionals available to speak to school audiences on topics related to the sustainability of mathematics. >>>   




Nominate Best Practices in E-STEM  

The North American Association for Environmental Education and Underwriters Laboratories are conducting a crowd sourced survey to identify the most innovative methods to engage students in STEM through environmental education. Take a moment and nominate a project that you think is leading the way.>>> 


Provide Input to the National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC) 

The EPA Office of Environmental Education is requesting applications to form a subcommittee that will provide input to the Federal Task Force on Environmental Education. Candidates with experience in education, nonprofit organizations, public-private partnership financing, and business sustainability practices, are encouraged to apply.>>>  

USDA Proposes Standards to Provide Healthy Food Options in Schools 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting public comment through March 30th on the new “Smarts to Snacks in School” proposal to ensure vending machines and snack bars in schools include healthy choices. >>>