Sample Press Release

****For Immediate Release****

Contact: Sean Miller
June 9, 2009
Contact: Lisa Swann

Students Achieve Major Solar Energy Victory at Local School
Thomas Jefferson High School Students Unveil Large-Scale Solar Panel System

Washington, DC, June 9, 2009 – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) in Alexandria, VA – a partner of Earth Day Network’s – today unveiled long awaited solar panels for the school’s benefit. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson was present to show her support for the initiative, as were Earth Day Network partners Energy Action Coalition. After two years of raising money for this cause, TJHSST and Earth Day Network hope that the introduction of this 3.85 k/W system with 22 solar panels will be a catalyst in advancing solar power in schools nationwide.

“After working with students and faculty for several years, we are extremely excited to help green the best public high school in the nation,” says Sean S. Miller, Education Director at Earth Day Network. “This is an important step in expanding the use of solar power throughout the country.”

In 2006, student volunteers from TJHSST initiated the Thomas Jefferson Solar Panel Initiative (TJSPI) in an effort to eventually power their entire school through solar energy. Over the past three years, students in the initiative have raised $56,000 to purchase and install a grid-tied photovoltaic solar panel system at no cost to the school system. These panels not only reduce the school’s carbon footprint and lower its energy costs, but will also be studied by students in the Energy Systems Laboratory, who will measure the energy production efficiency of the panels and develop novel methods to tap into solar energy.

“Our work demonstrates the incredible potential of students working together to achieve amazing results,” says Amanda Hurowitz, AP US History Teacher and TJSPI Sponsor. “In a short time period, we helped to raise $56,000 for this initiative to inspire lasting environmental, educational and economic benefits for future generations of students.”

As an ongoing partner with TJHSST in their greening ventures, Earth Day Network has played an integral role in helping these students achieve their goal – from assisting them in designing and initiating their Environmental Impact Club, to aiding in fundraising for the solar panels. Earth Day Network has high hopes that the work of the Thomas Jefferson Solar Panel Initiative will serve as a model for other schools around the country.

About Earth Day Network

Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns. Our campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.

About Thomas Jefferson Solar Panel Initiative

Founded in 2006, the Thomas Jefferson Solar Panel Initiative (TJSPI) is comprised of a group of student volunteers from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. The students work under the guidance of Mrs. Amanda Hurowitz and Mr. Hadan Kauffman, faculty members at TJHSST. The mission of the TJSPI is to integrate solar energy into the TJHSST building and culture by first introducing solar power infrastructure and then ultimately powering the entire school from solar power via incremental increases in solar power production and photovoltaic system output.

About Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

Established in 1985, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is the result of a partnership of businesses and schools created to improve education in science, mathematics, and technology. Representatives from business and industry and staff of the Fairfax County Public Schools worked together in curriculum and facilities development for the school. In recent years, local business leaders and Jefferson parents have formed the Jefferson Partnership Fund to help raise money to maintain and equip labs and classrooms in the school. As the Governor’s School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia, the school is also supported by the Virginia Department of Education. In addition to providing a specialized education for selected students in Fairfax County, Jefferson also serves other school districts including Arlington, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties as well as the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church.