Since Secretary Arne Duncan announced the Green Ribbon Schools effort this past September, program staff have learned about a wide range of free resources available to help schools go green and to save green, too. Green schools are taking advantage of grants, volunteer support, education resources and other help — from innovative business partnerships to overnight field trips at nearby outdoor education centers. Here are just a few examples:
Green schools have tapped into Kohl’s department stores volunteers and funds to implement environmental projects in schools. They send their difficult to recycle items to Terracycle and get a check in return. Schools are connecting kids to the outdoors with National Wildlife Federation’s Get Outside activity ideas. Schools are teaching sciences and developing civic engagement skills as they plan and maintain school gardens with tools from School Garden Wizard and the Green Thumb Challenge.
They are turning to Walking School Bus to reduce transportation use and build regular activity into kids’ days. They are encouraging healthier school eating and hosting educational fundraisers with help from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation PreventObesity, Healthy Schools Campaign, School Food and Fitness and National Healthy Schools Day.
Green schools are implementing effective environmental education with free teaching materials from Green Education Foundation, Facing the Future, Project Learning Tree, and National Resources Defense Council, among others. They are calling upon Alliance for Climate Education and Do Something for free projects, grants and assemblies to provide hands-on interdisciplinary learning about the key relationships between dynamic environmental, energy and human systems.
They are exercising students’ math, engineering, art, architecture and design skills as well as stretching their ability to think creatively and work with others through school design projects such as Council on Educational Facility Planners International School of the Future Design Competition and Green Education Foundation Green Building Program that emphasize sustainability, health and improved achievement outcomes.
See more free resources to help stretch green school budgets.
Click here to see Green Ribbon’s previous blog posts.
US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is an awards program that recognizes school achievements in environmental impact, health and wellness, and environmental education. The effort should not be confused with any program conducted by non-governmental entities.