One School’s Green Story of Success: Thurgood Marshall Academy Wins Coveted Mayoral Award

For the past four years, Earth Day Network’s Education Department has been collaborating with Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) in Southeast Washington, DC to introduce and integrate sustainable change on their campus. Over this time period, our Education team sponsored and collaborated with AP Environmental Science teacher Sam Ullery to enact green changes to the curriculum, helped install a 2.8 kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel system, completely swapped out the school’s food contract for a healthier and local one, and built the largest school garden in D.C. Recently, it was announced that TMA was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for an Educational Facility on behalf of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the District of Columbia’s District Department of the Environment.  Congratulations to Sam Ullery and the Thurgood Marshall Academy!!! For those of us at Earth Day, this announcement represents a great achievement and designation on behalf of our work. It is a testament to the fact that green schools – anywhere in the nation – are at the vanguard of the U.S. education system.

Of course, it is important to note that making a school green does not exclusively mean lowering its environmental impact. A green school is also a healthy school. Legislation like the D.C. Healthy Schools Act, of which students at TMA testified and meet with members of the D.C. Council, inspires schools within the District and beyond to implement more nutritional school lunches and foster opportunities for environmental education. In the years to come, as the green schools movement continues to expand, we hope our fruitful partnership with TMA will be looked upon as a catalyst for future change at schools nationwide. To learn more about TMA and the Award, click here.