ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. — The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) has announced the launch of the Kentucky Green Schools program, which is designed to inspire students to develop environmentally-friendly behavior and to feel empowered to take active steps toward creating a greener and healthier world—starting with their local environment at school.
Participating students play a leading role in reducing their school’s environmental impact and establishing a more sustainable learning atmosphere by engaging in themed investigations. These investigations enable students to identify, design and execute one or more action projects based on their findings. The program offers five student-driven investigations:
- Energy: Students assess their school’s energy consumption, identify energy sources and explore energy-saving strategies.
- Environmental Quality: Students evaluate areas for improvement in indoor air quality, transportation, chemical usage, etc.
- School Site: Students examine natural habitats, wildlife, trees, grounds maintenance practices and methods to enhance their school site.
- Waste & Recycling: Students analyze their school’s waste generation, waste management processes and evaluate recycling and composting efforts.
- Water: Students investigate the source, cost, and quality of their school’s water supply and propose water conservation practices.
KAEE plans to work with local community partners that offer environmental education and field experiences to participating schools in all regions of Kentucky. KAEE hopes to foster connections between schools and their local partners to provide support, resources, and guidance when facilitating environmental education opportunities and create relationships among the local community.
Kentucky schools can receive statewide recognition by participating, including media coverage, a plaque for their school, or a school flag, depending on their level and years of involvement. Schools will also have the opportunity to receive national recognition through the US Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program, coordinated by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council. Both participating schools and community partners will be recognized on the KAEE website and virtual environmental education resources map.
“The Kentucky Green Schools program promotes eco-literacy, investigative skills, teamwork, leadership, and sustainable practices,” said Katherine Bullock, Education Director of KAEE. “We are thrilled about the opportunity for schools across the Commonwealth to join this initiative and contribute to a more environmentally-conscious future.”