Senior Department of Education officials will visit ten schools and conduct two listening sessions in West Virginia and Kentucky from August 18-22 as part of the second annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students is theme of this year’s tour, which will focus on school environmental health.
U.S. Department of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach Lucy Johnson and U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director Andrea Falken will kick off the tour in Petersburg, West Virginia. They will be joined by numerous federal, state and local health and education officials along the route to Kentucky and back through West Virginia.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced this year’s tour legs at an annual ceremony honoring 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School and District Sustainability Awardees. “Healthy, safe and sustainable facilities combined with wellness practices like outdoor physical activity, nutritious food, and hands-on environmental learning form a strong foundation for a quality education,” Secretary Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are leading the way in incorporating best practices.”
The tours will include visits to school buildings and grounds and conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education and project-based learning, and discussions with key partners and health personnel. The listening sessions in each state will allow practitioners and experts to share best practices. In coming months, the tour will also visit U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools in Florida, Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland.
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees are recognized for reducing their environmental impact, including energy use, waste and water; creating healthy learning environments and fostering wellness practices; and providing effective environmental education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century. View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 57 honorees. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to meet the criteria for the award can be found here.
An agenda of tour sites and participants follows: