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Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education John King today to announce that Broadneck High School is a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School (ED-GRS).  In addition, Anne Arundel County Public Schools is among the 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability honorees.

earth day [1]“This award is a great honor and speaks volumes about the power of matching our academic efforts to the needs of our students and community,” said Melanie Parker, Coordinator of Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education for AACPS.  “This is a testament not only to the great persistence and balance that our staff and students display in their efforts to truly make a difference, but in the teamwork that exists in initiatives that explore things like alternative energies, waste reduction, and other green practices.”

Broadneck High School and AACPS were nominated for the awards by the Maryland State Department of Education.  Sligo Middle School in Montgomery County is the lone other Maryland honoree.

“Sligo Middle, Broadneck High, and Anne Arundel County Public Schools have taken a long-term, broad-based approach to environmental learning and stewardship,” Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement after the awards were announced. “I offer my sincere congratulations and encourage them to continue their tireless work to make Maryland and their local communities better places to live.”

Interim State Superintendent of Schools Jack R. Smith also acknowledged the honorees, saying “Maryland schools have been at the leading edge in their commitment to environmental education and to practices that will sustain our world for future generations. These nominees represent the important work taking place throughout our State.”

Recognized largely for its innovative Environmental Literacy Signature Program that weaves environmental stewardship and consciousness into the curriculum, Broadneck High School’s entire school community is impassioned to restore local waterways, save the Chesapeake Bay, and bring more awareness to these efforts.

In AACPS, more than half of AACPS’ schools have earned state green school status and all newly-constructed schools meet state LEED silver certification requirements.  Through the award-winning work of staff at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center, every student at every grade level is exposed to an environmental literacy unit and all 12 comprehensive high schools offer Advanced Placement Environmental Science.

Across the country, 47 schools, 15 districts, and 11 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

ED-GRS is the first comprehensive federal initiative for healthy, safe, sustainable, 21st Century schools.  The program awards schools/facilities that show exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, improve health and wellness, and teach effective environmental education.