Md. Green School Award nominees announced

The Maryland State Department of Education nominated two schools on March 27 for the US Department of Education’s 2014 Green Ribbon Schools Award:

Participating States in green (Source: US Education Department)

The program runs in 38 states, including Illinois, plus the District of Columbia. All applications for the award were evaluated by a committee comprised of staff from state and national government agencies, state and regional environmental organizations, and private businesses.

“Environmental education is one of the most effective ways to empower young people to care for and save our planet,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “By making the better choice to invest in forward-thinking environmental education programs, we’ll equip our students with the knowledge necessary to become better environmental stewards for our world and fashion a stronger, more sustainable future for generations to come.”

Federal officials will recognize schools 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. The recognition award is part of a larger US Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security.

“Maryland schools continue to be at the national forefront in their commitment to environmental education and to practices that will strengthen our world for generations that follow,” said State Superintendent Lillian M Lowery. “These nominees represent the great work taking place in classrooms and schools throughout our State.”

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is expected to announce the national Green Ribbon School awardees on Earth Day, April 22.