Educational Coloring Book related to Air Quality
Below is an Air Quality workbook that the DVRPC developed with a committee of environmental advocates and teachers. The book is aligned with common core standards for 3rd & 4th grades. The layout is wonky in the attachment because it is meant to be printed on 11×17 and then folded into book format. It was developed with a grant from PA DEP so the Partnership is welcome to anything in there that you may find interesting.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey and the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) are working together to create a sustainability certification program called “Sustainable Jersey for Schools” designed specifically for New Jersey public school districts and charter schools.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools will:
- Support student achievement through safe and healthy school environments
- Identify concrete actions that schools can implement to be certified in the program
- Provide clear guidance for school leaders and tools to enable schools to make progress on each certification action
- Identify cost savings and provide access to grants and funding opportunities
The voluntary program will provide a roadmap for what to do, as well as a comprehensive package of tools, guidance materials, and training and financial incentives to support and reward progress. It will offer “one stop shopping” with a full menu of sustainable actions. Each school will be required to complete a balanced package of sustainability actions in order to achieve certification.
US Green Building Council Center for Green Schools
Approximately 25 percent of Americans go to school or college every day as students, teachers, staff, faculty and administrators.
The Center for Green Schools was established to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable and healthy places to live, learn, work and play. We believe that everyone, from the kindergartner entering the classroom to the Ph.D. student performing research in a lab, should have the ability to learn in green buildings.
When you look at our schools today, you see outdated buildings in need of repairs, burdened with unsafe toxins, dwindling budgets and outdated resources – in place of opportunity and progress. By promoting the design and construction of green schools, and by greening the operations and maintenance of existing schools, we can make a tremendous impact on student health, school operational costs and the environment.
The Center works directly with teachers, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to create programs, resources and partnerships that transform all schools into healthy learning environments.
High-performing schools result in high-performing students, and green schools go far beyond bricks and mortar. We see an opportunity to educate a new generation of leaders – sustainability natives – capable of driving global market transformation.
The Green Schools Initiative
The Green Schools Initiative was founded in 2004 by parent-environmentalists who were shocked by how un-environmental their kids’ schools were and mobilized to improve the environmental health and ecological sustainability of schools in the U.S. We believe it is essential to protect children’s health – at school and in the world beyond school – and we work to catalyze and support “green” actions by kids, teachers, parents, and policymakers to reduce the environmental footprint of schools by:
- Eliminating toxics
- Using resources sustainably
- Creating green schoolyards and buildings
- Serving healthy food and
- Teaching environmental literacy and stewardship.
The environmental impact of the 130,000 public, private and charter K-12 schools, which educate or employ 1 in 5 Americans, is enormous, in financial, ecological and health terms. The impact includes millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, thousands of tons of garbage and toxic waste, and exposure to unhealthy conditions that affect students’ ability to learn. A growing body of evidence shows that “green” schools that integrate sustainable facilities, healthy operations, and environmental curricula result in environmental and financial savings, improved health for students and staff, and better academic achievement.
We work to transform schools into models of sustainability for communities, engaging youth in hands-on, inquiry-based learning and action to improve the health and sustainability of facilities and operations. We advocate for policies, action plans, and professional development that foster high performance, cost-efficient, and academically excellent schools. Our work focuses on training teachers, parents, facility directors, school board members and others in our “7 Steps to a Green School” approach; providing the tools and resources to support schools in reducing their environmental footprint; and advocating for state policies that support healthy and sustainable schools and environmental literacy. We have trained about 2,000 educators from 350 schools and districts. We focus our efforts on K-12 schools and districts throughout California; and we collaborate with and support organizations and individuals in other states and nationally.
Deborah Moore, a mother and environmental scientist, is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Green Schools Initiative. She has twenty years of experience working with environment and social justice organizations in the U.S. and internationally. She spent fourteen years working with Environmental Defense Fund protecting rivers and water quality and promoting water conservation.
We also have a Communications Coordinator, a School Coordinator, and several interns.
The Green Schools Initiative is a mostly volunteer effort, relying on dedicated parents, teachers, staff, and School Board members to start Green Teams and implement green school programs in their own communities. We provide training, support, and advocacy to leverage their efforts. We also establish strategic partnerships with other education, environment, and health organizations, and eco-friendly businesses.
The Four Pillars of A Green School
US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program
The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education (ED) effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide goal of increasing energy independence and economic security
National Wildlife Federation Eco Schools Program
The Eco-Schools program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003.
The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement.
Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.
Eco-Schools is currently being implemented in more than 50 countries around the world.
NWF to Lead U.S. Eco-Schools Program
In December 2008, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) was granted Eco-School host status for K-12 schools in the United States.
This honor — and charge — fits seamlessly with NWF’s work to promote environmental education, connect people with nature and raise awareness about the threat to people and wildlife from global warming.
Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, Eco-Schools USA combines effective “green” management of the school grounds, the facilities and the curriculum.
Benefits of the Eco-Schools Program:
The Eco-Schools program is designed in a way that:
- Improves academic performance, especially in science and math
- Leads to financial savings for schools
- Decreases the school’s carbon footprint through practical solutions that reduce energy and water consumption
- Reduces school waste and conserves natural resources
- Encourages student environmental awareness and stewardship
- Increases parental involvement
- Helps students and teachers develop stronger relationships with their communities
- Develops national and international links