Green Ribbon Schools

In a new Green Ribbon Schools program, the U.S. Department of Education is recognizing schools year that “save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.” When we read the description of what a Green Ribbon School is, we think it is describing many  NEED schools.

This is the first year of the Green Ribbon Schools award and 33 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Education have all signed up to participate. To find out if your state is participating, check the pilot year list.

Schools must first apply for the award through their state department of education. (Private schools are encouraged to participate and should also apply through their state department of education.) States were given the opportunity to create their own scoring criteria, so be sure to find out what the scoring matrix is in your state. States will then judge the applicants according to their own criteria, and nominate up to four schools to the U.S. Department of Education. National winners will be announced during Earth Day Week in April 2012.

We encourage all of our NEED schools to apply for the award at their state level! You have already demonstrated to us that you are Green Ribbon worthy, and many of you have been recognized through our Youth Awards Program. We would love for you to receive the additional recognition that you deserve.  If you need letters of recommendation or assistance from NEED, just ask!

Your state department of education should have information specific to your state available on their website. For more information you can also follow the U.S. Department of Education Blog, and read the posts on Green Ribbon Schools. You can also like ED Green Ribbon Schools on Facebook for more news and resources.  If you need any help or have any questions please let us know and we will help you find the answers you need to participate in this program.

Good luck!  And don’t forget to let us know if you win!   Reminder:  NEED Youth Awards Projects are due April 15, 2012.