Two Va. Schools Earn Federal Honor for Green Initiatives

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roanoke's Fishburn Park Elementary School and Franklin County's Gereau Center for Applied Technology & Career Exploration are the only two Virginia schools to earn federal awards for environmental initiatives.

The U.S. Department of Education this morning announced the winners of the inaugural Green Ribbon Schools awards. A total of 78 schools in the U.S. received the recognition.

“Science and environmental education play a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education that prepares them for the jobs of the future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stated in a news release. “Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can expand their coursework while also helping children build real world skill sets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”

Fishburn Park is an environmental science focus school that accepts applications from students citywide to enroll in preschool through grade 5. Recycling, saving energy and gardening are integral activities at the elementary school. Each grade level is responsible for recycling a product, such as empty juice pouches.

Kevin Bezy, principal of the Gereau Center, said he decided to apply for the award after learning about it last fall. Environmentally friendly initiatives at the career exploration school, include recycling and a green house. The Center for Energy Efficient Design, which is located on the Gereau campus, features solar panels, rainwater recycling and triple glass thermal windows.

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