Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Winners Announced

Early yesterday morning, after a rain-soaked but amazing day on the National Mall for Earth Day’s 42nd Anniversary, the first-ever winners of the Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program were announced at Stoddert Elementary school in Washington, DC (see here for some very adorable photos).

Education Secretary Duncan was joined by EPA Administrator Jackson, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Sutley, DC Council Chair Kwame Brown, DC Council Member Mary Cheh, our Education team and many others for the historic announcement (watch the proceedings on video here).

In total, 78 schools from 29 states and DC won the very rigorous award, setting an extremely high bar of excellence for schools across the nation to now replicate for the upcoming second year of the program. You can view the full list of winners here and Earth Day Network’s joint announcement on this incredible success here as well.

But for many of us familiar with the local DC schools scene, the selection of Stoddert Elementary School was especially poignant. In a school district that used to be known for its dilapidated infrastructures and many inefficiencies, the DC school system has become one of the greenest in the entire country – something that was readily on display for the announcement yesterday. Specifically, Stoddert Elementary was the first school to complete the District’s green school renovation process – something that is now happening at dozens of schools across the city. Furthermore, Stoddert Elementary was one of the first schools to adopt and implement the DC Healthy Schools Act’s monumental changes with respect to student and staff nutrition and health – another feat that is now spreading across the District.

Nevertheless, we want to give a special shout-out to all 78 winners of this incredible, one-year-in-the-making award, and in particular, two schools close to Earth Day Network: the Secondary Academy for Success in Bothell, WA and the Evergreen Community Charter School in Asheville, NC. Kudos to all the winners and we look forward to an incredible second year of the program! Go green schools!

Photo Credit to Shaun Courtney