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Press Release: Maryland Schools Gain National Green Ribbon Honors For Environmental Education, Practices

Montgomery, Charles County Schools & Howard County Win Awards

For Immediate Release                                                      Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (April 22, 2015)

Two Maryland schools and one Maryland school system today received the U.S. Department of Education’s coveted 2015 Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) Award.

Northwest High School (Montgomery County Public Schools) and J. C. Parks Elementary School (Charles County Public Schools) received school awards, while the Howard County Public School System received a district award.  The honors were announced today by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. 

“I’d like to congratulate these schools and their students for being stewards of Maryland’s unique environment,” said Governor Larry Hogan.  “Maryland teachers are leaders in finding and promoting innovative ways to make our schools more environmentally friendly and sustainable.”

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery agreed that Maryland schools have put a premium on instruction and educational facilities that respect the environment.

“These winners exemplify Maryland’s commitment to environmental education and to practices that will sustain our world for future generations,” said Dr. Lowery.  “Northwest High, J.C. Parks Elementary, and the Howard County Public Schools have embedded environmental learning, classwork, and sustainable practices into their culture.  We all benefit from the work being done in those schools.”

Education agencies in 41 states and territories, in collaboration with the U.S Department of Education, participated in the fourth year of the GRS award program.  Maryland schools have received national honors during each year of the program.

“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” said Secretary Duncan.  “The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement.”

Federal officials target schools and school systems that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices proven to result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government-wide aim to increase energy independence and economic security.

More on the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School Program can be found here.