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DOE collecting applications for ‘Green Ribbon’ recognition

The Georgia Department of Education recently announced that it is accepting applications for the newly launched National Green Ribbon Schools Recognition Program.

According to Matt Cardoza, DOE spokesperson, the program seeks to recognize schools across the nation where staff members, students and communities have worked together to produce progress in three “pillars of green-school activity.” They are: Optimal efficiency in energy, water and waste management; healthy students and school environment; and environmental education.

Cardoza said that, every year, more schools in Georgia are implementing programs to improve energy-and-water efficiency, air quality and environment-based curriculum.

“The collective efforts and achievements of these schools have elevated Georgia to lead the Southeast in high-performing, healthy, green schools,” Cardoza said.

He said four kindergarten-through-twelfth-grade schools from Georgia, who show they have achieved, or made progress toward the three qualifying pillars, will be nominated to the U.S. Department of Education to compete for the national honor of being named a Green Ribbon School.

“The National Green Ribbon Schools Program is a perfect way to commend schools in Georgia that are striving to be more efficient, especially in this very difficult economic environment,” said State School Superintendent John Barge. “I encourage all schools that qualify for this award to apply, so we can recognize them.”

Cardoza said the application process is open to all public, charter and private schools. The deadline for applications, he added, is Feb. 24.

With the newly launched U.S. Department of Education’s National Green Ribbon Schools Program, Cardoza said, the partnership among the Georgia Department of Education, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the U.S. Green Building Council of Georgia, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, the Clean Air Campaign, and the Turner Foundation, will help bring national attention to the state’s progress.

“The Turner Foundation has generously pledged $10,000 for the school, or schools, who are recognized with a National DOE Green Ribbon,” he said. “If multiple Georgia schools are selected for the National Green Ribbon Program, they will split the prize.”

“In these challenging times, school systems across the state are embracing innovative ideas to reduce costs and focus resources on the classrooms where students learn,” said Lt. Gov. Cagle, “I’m proud to launch the National Green Ribbon Schools contest to recognize Georgia schools that are implementing ground-breaking tools to reduce their energy costs.”

Cardoza said the winning Georgia schools will be announced on the steps of the State Capitol Building on March 15.

For more information about the application process, contact Keisha Ford-Jenrette at kford@gadoe.org, or call (404) 657-2949.