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Education Department To Launch Green Ribbon Schools Program

The United States Department of Education has launched a new program to recognize schools for their sustainability efforts.

The Green Ribbon Schools program--being administered by ED and supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the White House Council on Environmental Quality--will be modeled on the Blue Ribbon Schools program (also administered by ED). But instead of focusing on academic schievement, the program will recognize schools for "energy conservation, creating healthy learning spaces, and teaching environmental literacy," according to information released by the department Tuesday.

"Preparing our children to be good environmental citizens is some of the most important work any of us can do," said Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education, in a statement released Tuesday. "It's work that will serve future generations and quite literally sustain our world. Environmental literacy is an important part of a well rounded, world-class education. Through the Green Ribbon Schools program, we'll be holding up schools that are leading the way in teaching science and in ways that show students the importance of developing clean energy sources and sustainable solutions for the environment."

"The schools taking part in this initiative will help kids connect what they're learning in science class with the world around them, allowing them to envision solutions to tomorrow's challenges while living healthier lives today," said Lisa P. Jackson, EPA administrator, also in a prepared statement. "By making green living a part of everyday learning, Green Ribbon Schools will prepare our children to win the future by leading our global green energy economy."

The Green Ribbon Schools program will open later this year. ED hasn't set a specific date for the opening of the application period but has indicated that the first recipients will be announced in 2012. Further details will be available on ED's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .