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Green Schools

Words: Madhu Lal

The Green Ribbon Award is an award created to help enforce and reward schools that support and implement sustainable living practices on a school wide basis. This award is given to schools by the U.S. Department of Education, and strives to inspire schools to become more environmentally aware and achieve “21st century wellness”.

The Green Ribbon Award is given to schools who reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of the school, students, and staff, and provide education regarding the environment. Schools who want to earn the Green Ribbon Award should also integrate environmental education with STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways. Schools who qualify for this award are those who follow guidelines created by the U.S. Department of Education and show a rigorous effort for sustainability.

Centennial was awarded the Green Ribbon in the spring of last year. Teachers and staff went to workshops where they learned about how to further conserve energy and implement environmental actions into their daily school lives and in their classrooms.

To further implement education on environmental issues, classes incorporated environmental topics into their lessons, for example in English classes, students were to focus on the theme of man and nature. In American Government, students studied different policies and laws regarding the preservation of the environment and in technology classes, students discussed the possible benefits and drawbacks of advancing technologies.

Many recycling initiatives were also implemented at Centennial. Within the school there has been an increase of recycling including paper products and batteries. The school has created an initiative to stop the excessive use of water bottles by selling reusable ones. The Gardening club planted trees around the campus in order to help create more of a habitat for animals.

Along with recycling efforts, Centennial also hosts a Know Your Planet Night, where students from Earth Science, Environmental Science, Government , English and Technology classes get together after school and showcase different environment related projects to the community.

Although Centennial is making large strides towards creating a more environmentally aware school there are still many steps which can be taken in order to further our positive impact on the environment. Lori Griffiths, one of Centennial’s science teachers says that she thinks the initiatives that the school is taking are great however, she wishes to see a larger number of students enroll in environmental sciences and earth sciences so that more kids can learn about “the world we live in.”

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