Earth Day Network Coalition Scores Green Ribbon Schools Program Victory!

The Earth Day Network Education Team today marked a major breakthrough in its tireless efforts to grow the National Green Schools movement!

Earlier today, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley announced the creation of a “Green Ribbon Schools” award program at the U.S. Department of Education. The program is the first time the federal government has launched a comprehensive green schools initiative, which has tremendous implications for schools across the country. A Green Ribbon Award will recognize and honor public and private schools of all age levels that demonstrate dramatic gains in both environmental literacy and towards simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint and improving learning conditions.

“The Green Ribbon Schools program represents an incredible milestone for the health and
sustainability of our nation’s schools, and we applaud the Department of Education’s visionary
leadership in building one of the foundations of the green economy,” said Sean S. Miller, Education Director at Earth Day Network. “We look forward to the announcement of the first winners of the Green Ribbon Schools program on Earth Day 2012.”

“Environmental literacy is an important part of a well-rounded, world-class education,” said Secretary Duncan. “Through the Green Ribbon Schools program, we’ll be holding up schools that are leading the way in teaching science and showing students the importance of developing clean energy sources and sustainable solutions for the environment.”

At Earth Day Network, we are particularly excited to have collaborated with three key leaders in the Green Schools movement – the Campaign for Environmental Literacy, the National Wildlife Federation, and the U.S. Green Building Council – to make this initiative happen. This exciting new program has the potential to invigorate and empower schools nationwide for growing the 21st-century economy. By encouraging schools to apply for this award, powerful strides will be taken to ensure we meet our shared goal of greening America’s schools within a generation.