Just as schools are already recognized for their academic achievements through the Federal Government’s Blue Ribbon School Program, they can soon receive the recognition for demonstrating excellence or making notable improvement towards sustainability through the Green Ribbon School Program. The program was introduced last month as a collaboration among the Department of Education, EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
This program has the potential to link schools and students that nurture a culture of sustainability to the funding and initiatives within various departments of government – such as the Department of Energy. The school not only benefits from the exposure but its students receive the experience and pride associated that comes along with working closely and contributing to government agencies.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said: “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.”
The potential of reducing US energy consumption in by 25 percent through better management of school resources should be enough to engage school officials, teachers and students. By giving students the tools and knowledge to further their interest in the field for later in life is the true lasting appeal of a program such as this and it’s promising to see a program such as this come to fruition and immediately be held up as the standard.
Applications will be released later this year with the first wave of schools receiving the honor announced next year. More information can be found at the Dept. of Education’s website.