FRANKFORT, Ky. — Tates Creek Elementary School in Lexington and Saint Agnes School in Louisville are among 53 national honorees that have been named 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. The schools were nominated by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC), an agency in the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Across the country, 25 schools, 14 districts and four postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
“The Kentucky Environmental Education Council is very proud of Tates Creek Elementary and Saint Agnes schools for being chosen as Green Ribbon Schools. These schools have put tremendous time, effort and resources into providing quality education as well as a healthy, safe and sustainable environment,” said Billy Bennett, executive director of KEEC. “Tates Creek Elementary and Saint Agnes have been innovative leaders in environmental education in Kentucky for many years, so it is exciting to see their efforts, passion and commitment recognized on a nation level.”
Among its achievements, Tates Creek Elementary has received several district and state sustainability honors, formed an active Green Creek Team for students, hired a wellness coach and environmental coordinator, and has a fully staffed pediatric health clinic on site for students and the community. The school established a regular recycling schedule, reduced paper waste with a cafeteria program, and reduced the school’s water consumption by 18 percent over four years.
Saint Agnes uses its 32-acre campus as a natural classroom for students to raise awareness about the local environment and learn how their positive actions can improve their school and community. The campus is home to a student-built and maintained pollinator garden, extensive wetlands that the students helped to create and a composting facility. The school has won several state sustainability awards and established itself as a leader in environmental education.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states. The nominees include 25 public schools, including three magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as 10 nonpublic schools. Thirty-six percent of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body. The winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. in September.
More information about the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools at https://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.