MES, WHS and Mill Creek Elementary School in Madison City are the only three schools in Alabama to be nominated for the national award that is given to a school that saves energy, reduces costs, features environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protects health, fosters wellness, and offers environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
“The schools who applied went through a rigorous review process for this award,” said Dr. Tommy Bice, state superintendent of education. “I am very proud of the teachers, staff, students and parents that applied to be Alabama’s first Green Ribbon Schools. The enthusiasm, hard work and creativity demonstrated by the three awardees provide an excellent environment for a well-rounded education, with an emphasis on addressing the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.”
MES is being recognized as the first school in the Southeast modeled after a forest.
With the Talladega National Forest right next door, the school has caught the attention of the USDE for integrating forestry, conservation and environmental education into its curriculum.
WHS is being lauded by USDE for its use of science, math and technology applications as problem-solving tools for environmental issues, greenhouse related science and the value of healthier lifestyles.
Talladega County Schools Superintendent Suzanne Lacey said the nomination came several months ago through the School System’s work with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.
She said 10 schools were nominated throughout the state before being reduced to three. The fact that two of the three schools are in the Talladega County School System speaks to the success of its 21st century learning endeavors.
“I think it just really supports our work with environmental education both at Munford and Winterboro and our work with energy conservation,” Lacey said.
“What we’ve done with project-based learning has really just gone to support our work with students and hands-on studies with students we are able to implement.”
A total of 33 states, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Education were allowed to nominate up to three public schools and one private school for the award.
The national award winner or winners will be announced Monday, April 23, and will attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C., in June.
The State Department of Education will host a recognition ceremony for the Alabama school nominees at its meeting Thursday, May 10, and a picnic lunch for up to five representatives from each of the nominated schools.
The schools will also receive Project Wild and Project Wet, curriculum and teaching guides, provided by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
The Environmental Education Association of Alabama will also provide the registration of one school to its 2013 conference and membership to the organization.
Green Ribbon flags, sponsored by Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education, will also be presented to each of the three schools.
Contact Aziza Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.