CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two West Virginia schools have been named U.S. Green Ribbon Schools for their sound environmental practices.
Hilltop Elementary School in Marshall County and the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center are among 78 schools in 29 states to receive the inaugural award that recognizes schools that exercise a comprehensive approach to creating green environments. The winning schools will be honored in Washington, D.C., on June 4.
“West Virginia schools are making great strides toward creating healthy environments in schools, including some that have become Energy Star schools for their conservation efforts” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “We want to recognize schools that strengthen that work by imbedding sustainability practices into school life.”
To be considered for the U.S. Green Ribbon School awards, both Hilltop Elementary and the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center first were named West Virginia Sustainable Schools. Hilltop Elementary received the Black Bear Award for the Highest Achievement, while Wyoming County Career and Technical Center was recognized for Environmental Impact and Energy Efficiency of the Facility.
Both the federal and state programs recognize schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainable practices in their facilities. They also have worked to integrate those practices into the curriculum and helped build healthy and sustainable communities. All schools must meet rigorous standards, including environmental and sustainability education; healthy school environments; and environmental impact and energy efficiency of facilities.
“Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”
The 78 national award winners were chosen from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education. The list of winners include 66 public schools and 12 private schools composed of 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.
"These Green Ribbon Schools are giving students and educators what they need to maximize learning and minimize risks like asthma and other respiratory illnesses," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Today's winners are protecting our children's health and opening up environmental education opportunities for students.”
For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.