In conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Education announced Tuesday of the Green Ribbon Schools program. Aimed at recognizing schools “that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy,” the program is modeled after the Department of Education’s Blue Schools Program. The Blue Schools Program honors the top performing and most improved public and private schools in terms of student achievement.
As part of the press release announcing the program, Education Secretary Arne Duncan was quoted as saying “Preparing our children to be good environmental citizens is some of the most important work any of us can do. . . . It’s work that will serve future generations and quite literally sustain our world.” Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality was also quoted in the press release as saying “The Green Ribbon Schools program will recognize healthy learning spaces that promote environmental literacy and prepare our leaders of tomorrow to win a clean energy future.” The application for the program has not been made available yet. The first set of “Green Ribbon Schools” will be in 2012.
According to the release, the program “reflects President Obama’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and preparing today’s students for jobs in fields that provide clean energy solutions.” Duncan envisions the program as a leader in teaching science and demonstrating “ways that show students the importance of developing clean energy sources and sustainable solutions for the environment.”
This is not the only program with this name. Replete with its own FaceBook page, there is another Green Ribbon Schools Program, a “recognition and award program … developed by the Texas Children in Nature Coalition.”