CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is looking for schools and counties seeking to participate in the West Virginia Sustainable Schools Award Program.
The program, in its second year, recognizes schools that integrate sustainability literacy into the curriculum, model best management practices at the school, and help build healthy and sustainable communities. This year, multi-school districts, or counties, also may apply.
Schools or counties seeking an award must excel in at least one of the three areas and be making progress in the others. Those selected to receive an award have demonstrated how their schools and counties save energy, reduce costs, create environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
“West Virginia schools are making great strides toward creating healthy environments in schools,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jorea Marple. “It’s important that we recognize schools that strengthen that work by imbedding sustainability practices into all aspects of school life.”
The program is part of a U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security. Four West Virginia schools recognized as West Virginia Sustainable Schools will be nominated to become a U.S. Green Ribbon School. One district also will be nominated for the US Green Ribbon Award.
Two West Virginia schools were among 78 to be recognized nationally last year, Hilltop Elementary School in Marshall County and the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center.
The West Virginia Department of Education invites public and private schools to submit applications by Jan. 11, 2013. Awards will be announced in March. Technical assistance workshops will be held in November to help applicants with the application, which is posted at http://wvde.state.wv.us/forms/2013/wv-sustainable-schools-app.
For more information about the West Virginia Sustainable Schools Award, contact the WVDE Office of Communications at 304-558-2699, or visit http://wvde.state.wv.us/sustainable-schools. For more information on U.S. Green Ribbon Schools, see http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.