April 23, 2012
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Congratulates Four
California Schools to Win First National Green Ribbon Awards
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today congratulated four California schools that were among the first 78 nationwide to earn U.S. Department of Education "Green Ribbon Schools" titles for exemplary environmental programs and practices.
"California's schools are leading the way into a cleaner, more energy-efficient future, and it's wonderful to see that work recognized with some of the very first national Green Ribbon Schools awards," Torlakson said.
Twenty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education nominated nearly 100 schools, of which 66 per public, including eight charters, and 12 were private. California nominated four schools (the maximum number allowed) and all were declared winners.
- Environmental Charter High School [http://echsonline.org/] , Lawndale Elementary School District.
- Longfellow Elementary School [http://longfellow-lbusd-ca.schoolloop.com/] , Long Beach Unified School District.
- Grand View Elementary School [http://www.gvpta.com/] , Manhattan Beach Unified School District.
- The Athenian School [http://www.athenian.org/] , a private school in Danville.
"I commend today's winners for their commitment to the earth and to learning," Torlakson said. "Science, environmental, and outdoor education are vital to prepare our students with 21st century skills in sustainability to grow our global economy."
Torlakson, whose Schools of the Future report issued last year led to California's participation in the federal awards program, said he was impressed by the inventive projects undertaken at the winning schools, from Walk-to-School Wednesdays to community recycling centers to rainwater collection irrigation systems.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan made the announcement of the Green Ribbon Schools winners this morning in Washington, D.C., where he praised the efforts of America's newly declared green schools.
To access the U.S. Department of Education's News Release, please go to: Obama Administration Names 78 Schools in 29 States and D.C. as First-Ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools | U.S. Department of Education [http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/obama-administration-names-78-schools-29-states-and-dc-first-ever-us-department-] .
In his proclamation declaring April 22, 2012 as Earth Day, President Barack Obama said, "As we work to leave our children a safe, sustainable future, we must also equip them with the tools they need to take on tomorrow's environmental challenges. Supporting environmental literacy and a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math for every student will help ensure our youth have the skills and knowledge to advance our clean energy economy." To read the complete proclamation, please go to: Presidential Proclamation -- Earth Day | The White House [http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/20/presidential-proclamation-earth-day] .
For more information on Torlakson's Schools of the Future Report, please visit the California Department of Education Web site at Schools of the Future Report (PDF; 1MB).
For more information on the USDE Green Ribbon Schools Program, please visit the CDE Web site at Green Ribbon Schools Award Program - School Facility.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100