CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two West Virginia schools and one county school district have been named U.S. Green Ribbon Schools for their sound environmental practices.
Hometown Elementary School in Putnam County, Petersburg Elementary School in Grant County and Marshall County Schools were among 64 schools and 14 districts to receive the national award. The West Virginia schools and district were first named West Virginia Sustainable Schools to be considered for the national honor.
"West Virginia schools are working hard to support healthy school environments and accelerate learning," said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares. "These schools deserve this recognition for incorporating sustainability practices into school life."
The national recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to improve student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and work force preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security. 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 in three criteria: environmental and sustainability education; healthy school environments; and environmental impact and energy efficiency of facilities. Educational efforts should incorporate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), civic skills and green career pathways.
"Today's honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "They are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, performance and equity; and provide an education geared toward the jobs of the future. In fact, the selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts. And the great thing is that the resources these honorees are using are available for free to all schools."
The national award winners were chosen from 82 nominees submitted by 32 state education agencies and the District of Columbia. The list of winners include 40 elementary, 23 middle and 19 high schools with around 40 percent representing high poverty schools.
"U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are ... reducing instances of pollution-related illnesses like asthma, a leading cause of student absence," said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. "The students who attend these schools are better prepared than ever to become the next generation of environmental stewards and bring about a healthier, more sustainable future."
For more information, contact the WVDE Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.