CEO Brizard Congratulates Waters Elementary School and Academy for Global Citizenship for Being Recognized as U.S. Green Ribbon Schools
April 23, 2012
“Instilling a heightened sense of environmental consciousness among CPS students is an important component of our overall ‘green’ strategy.’ Waters School and the Academy for Global Citizenship have repeatedly shown themselves to be leaders in engaging students and building their concern for the environment, as well as overall health and wellness. We are proud of their accomplishments and congratulate them on this recognition.” – Jean-Claude Brizard CEO, Chicago Public Schools
Background on Green Ribbon Schools
The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award recognizes the highest-performing green schools in the nation that have shown exemplary achievement in environmental impact, health and education. A Green Ribbon School encourages healthy living for all students, parents and staff through their own vision and plan.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan along with Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the Green Ribbon Schools winners. Seventy-eight schools from 29 states were named Green Ribbon Schools out of more than 100 nominees.
Thomas J Waters Elementary School features an ecology program that is integrated across all subjects as well as woven into the school’s daily routines. The program highlights resource conservation with a school-wide recycling program, including a lunchroom composting system; field ecology with on-site study and observations of local ecosystems such as the Chicago River and Lake Michigan; and community gardens that feature multiple native plant areas. The school emphasizes a healthy lifestyle with daily recess, a daily lunchtime salad bar in the school cafeteria, and other physical activity and nutrition programs. Community support and grants have helped the 100-year-old facility improve efficiency with the addition of solar panels, environmentally friendly floor tiles and energy-efficient lighting fixtures.
The Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC), a charter school, features a school-based greenhouse and garden. AGC students have access to organic breakfast, lunch and snacks, and participate in composting and recycling programs. Students participate in a daily sustainability and wellness class as well as daily yoga. Additionally, the school runs dozens of community workshops on environmental topics. The school tracks energy and gas use and sets annual reduction goals and recently began purchasing electricity through a wind power provider. The school features a small solar installation where students monitor and track how much energy is created. Throughout the year, students also tend to three schoolyard chickens as part of learning about animals, life cycles and food production.