Green schools have been cropping up all over the country in recent years, and now, the U.S. Department of Education has created an award by which to recognize them: the Green Ribbon Schools program, which highlights schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy.
This new Education Department awards program has the support of the White House Council on Environmental Quality as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and will be modeled after the Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which honors public and private schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement levels in the past year.
To be considered for the Green Ribbon Schools award, an educational institution must demonstrate a commitment to energy conservation, creating a healthy environment for students, and teaching environmental literacy. (At an increasing number of schools, this is accomplished via a science curriculum tied to the school’s renewable energy and/or energy efficiency systems.)
The application for this award will be released later in 2011, and the first group of “Green Ribbon Schools” announced in 2012.