DOE Awards Green Ribbon to Three Florida Schools
Earlier in 2012, three Florida schools were recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for their efforts in decreasing impact on the environment. The three schools; Pine Jog Elementary in Palm Beach County, TERRA Environmental Research Institute in Miami-Dade County and Learning Gate Community School in Hillsborough County were all named Green Ribbon Schools.
Not only did these schools prove their commitment to reducing environmental impacts, but they also improved the overall health and academic performance of their students and faculty. They have also increased the number of students who are educated in how to sustain a healthy environment by decreasing their own impact on the world around them. The TERRA Environmental Research Institute inMiami-DadeCountyfor example, implemented a program that utilized the condensation from the air conditioning units to water plants. They put their water faucets on 20-second timers and their bathroom facilities use less water and lighting as they operate on motion sensors.
Gerard Robinson, the Florida Education Commissioner recently stated that because the state has such a rich and diverse ecosystem it makes for a unique setting for children to learn about their natural surroundings while developing respect and appreciation for it.
This was the first year the DOE has bestowed the Green Ribbon honor and over 100 schools were nominated. However, only 78 schools across the country proved themselves worthy enough to become Green Ribbon Schools. These schools each displayed environmental stewardship by taking measures to cut their energy costs, implementing environmentally sustainable learning spaces and improving the academic achievement of their students, which includes their health and wellness too.Floridawas not the only state to have more than two schools awarded with a Green Ribbon. Other states with several Green Ribbon Schools include California,C olorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota,New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wisconsin.
Not only do these schools help reduce their impact on the environment in a variety of ways, but U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that these schools are also placing a bigger emphasis on the areas of science, environmental and outdoor education. These all play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education by helping prepare students for the jobs we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the future. Duncanalso stated that the schools now officially recognized as Green Ribbon Schools serve as excellent examples of the various ways schools can help their students build real-world skill sets.
While this is the first time the DOE has given out their Green Ribbons, Florida has been recognizing school districts, individual schools, teachers and students for displaying their willingness and achievements in reducing their impact on the environment with green awards. Florida’s Green School Awards have been around since 2008. The U.S. DOE will begin accepting nominations for next year’s Green Ribbon School awards this summer. All interested schools should submit their nominations by June 15, 2012. Nominations can be sent via email to email@example.com.
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