Green Ribbon Program Targets Eco Schools

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.

Ephiphany School, Seattle

image via Miller Hull Partnership

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.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.