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NEEF Launches Green Prize for Public Schools

The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), in partnership with EarthEcho and the National Education Association (NEA), has established the Green Prize in Public Education. Originally conceived by the NEA Foundation, the $10,000 annual award goes to a school that the judges determine has most successfully engaged its students, faculty, staff, and local community in ongoing efforts at improving the school's environmental and ecological impact, or "greening."

This year's inaugural award went to Mike Town, an environmental science teacher at Redmond High School in Redmond, WA, for his "Cool School Challenge" program, which led to a combined reduction of more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions at more than 150 schools nationwide.

"Schools green themselves in many different ways, but they all have things in common--they inspire," said Diane Wood, president of NEEF. "They are a teaching tool, not just for the students, but for the entire community. The Green Prize recognizes outstanding schools along with their dedicated teachers and students who advance environmental education and allows them to serve as a model for the entire country."

In addition to the grand prize, NEEF will award to $5,000 merit prizes to two schools that demonstrate outstanding efforts at greening. More information and an application for the 2011 Green Prize are available here.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.