What is a green school?
More than 20% of Americans spend time in schools each day. Doesn't it make sense that schools are healthy, energy efficient, and cost effective places to work and learn? A Green School is just that.
According to a US Green Building Council study, green schools "provide measurable benefits that impact the occupants of the building and the financial bottom line" of the school and community. National Environmental Education Foundation studies show that environmental education has proven beneficial to increasing student achievement levels. The US Department of Education (ED) has expressed their commitment to green schools by developing the Green Ribbon Schools program. Establishing a Green School is a great way to implement best practice education in our schools. According to the ED, green schools:
- reduce environmental impact and costs
- improve the health and wellness of students and staff
- provide effective environmental and sustainability education
As Andrea Suarez Falken, Director of the USDE Green Ribbon program states, "Schools can use this sustainability context not only to boost test scores, but to teach students the important civic values and skills that will encourage them to grow into responsible, compassionate, and contributing citizens. Furthermore, this interest in the natural world and engagement in environmental concepts from an early age nurtures precisely the type of thinking that the technology and sustainability careers of the future require."
Reading, Riding Retrofit: NC Green Schools Program builds a strong foundation for all schools to strive to reach these goals. Starting with Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools, 41 schools have participated in sustainable practices. NC Green Schools program encourages schools to get involved and start the process of becoming a green school. So many schools across the state already have successful environmental programs and we extend an invitation for all to get involved in our network of teachers to motivate and be motivated. Read green schools news and see which schools are already Recognized NC Green Schools .
Whether you are just starting on the path to sustainability or already have established STEM curriculum, environmental programs and sustainability policies, we want you to join the NC Green School network! Learn from other teachers and connect to resources in North Carolina specifically designed for teachers and students who want to "grow green." Contact us if you want to be a NC Green School!