February 2014 News

In This Issue
2014 Green Schools National Conference
Take the Environmentally Literate Quiz
Opportunities for Students
National Green Week 2014
Young Reporters for the Environment Competition
Green and Healthy Student Spotlight
World Water Day is 3/22/14
"Walking School Bus"
ScratchEd Online Community
Input on "The Story of Stuff"
Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium
National Public Health Week
Green Strides Webinar Series
Professional Development Opportunities
Award Opportunities
Grant Opportunities
Save the Date...

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Planet Aid




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It's time to Nominate a Green Difference Maker today!



Green Schools honors and recognizes Outstanding Environmental Education & STEM Education efforts led in our Schools & Communities at our Annual Green Difference Awards.


This event will take place at the MA State House in the spring [May 28, 2014]


Green Difference Makers can be: Principals, Teachers, Advisors, Schools, Students, or School Groups/Clubs.


Application period open until April 14th: 


For questions regarding The Green Difference Awards, please write us at:

info@projectgreenschools.org OR call (508) 272-9653


Nominate an Outstanding Green Difference Maker today!


2014 Green Schools National Conference


The 2014 Green Schools National Conference is fast coming together. 
Teen CEO and founder of Greening Forward, Charles Orgbon III, will be delivering a keynote address at the Green Schools National Conference on how schools can create a culture of youth leadership.  
Charles Orgbon is the founder of Greening Forward, an organization supporting young environmental change-makers across the globe.  Greening Forward partners benefit from more than 120 curriculum resources, grant programs, skill-building tools, and mentorship opportunities as they work to effect environmental change at the local and global level. Currently, Greening Forward directly serves more than 2,000 young leaders who plan rallies, events, and workshops that engaged 10,000 other community members. Greening Forward youth are advocating for bike-friendly communities in Denver, bringing organic foods to low-income communities through aquaponics in the Makiki Valley, developing young leaders through capacity-building conferences in Atlanta, and protecting the Low Country's vital estuaries in South Carolina.
Learn more at greeningforward.org
Click to read more about Charles Orgbon and other keynote speakers

Think you're Environmentally Literate? 

Take our quiz and find out just how environmentally literate you are, and besides it's fun!


Quiz designed by Young Women In Climate Team of Manchester Essex Regional Middle/High School


Opportunities for Students

Green Schools National Conference: Student Summit

(March 27-29, 2014 Sacramento, California)


Build your skills and knowledge, and make connections with like-minded students from across the country that will last a lifetime. Return to your school energized and ready to lead new environmental projects with a deeper understanding of sustainability and the world we live in. 


Learn More


National Green Week 2014


Green Week is Five!


Last year over 5 million students participated and this year our aim is to have 8 million engaged in sustainability education throughout the country. To help us reach this goal, and to be a part of the largest K-12 sustainability education movement, if you could please take a moment to email the following notice to your members and post to Facebook- we would greatly appreciate it! As always, participation in Green Week and in all of GEF's educational resources is FREE. In addition, GEF will be raffling over $10,000 worth of prizes to participating schools.


Join the largest K-12 sustainability education movement by signing up for National Green Week 2014! Green Week kicks off February 3 and lasts through April 25, 2014. You choose any week during that time to be your Green Week.  It's free, and if you join on or before February 3 you will be entered to win Green Packs (reusable water bottles, snack containers and bags) for your entire school! In addition, GEF will be raffling over $10,000 in prizes through Earth Day - so don't, wait sign up today!


Green Week Website


Green Education Foundation (GEF)


Young Reporters for The Environment Competition 2014


Young Reporters for the Environment USA Competition Invites 2014 Entries

National Wildlife Federation's Young Reporters for the Environment USA competition invites students between the ages of 13-21 to report on an environmental issue in their community in an article, photo or photo essay, or short video. All entries should reflect firsthand investigation of topics related to the environment and sustainability in the students' own communities, draw connections between local and global perspectives, and propose solutions.


Submissions to the national competition are due by March 15, 2014. First-place winners in the national competition proceed to the international Young Reporters for the Environment competition, joining the entries of students from more than 25 countries around the world.

Students: You may enter individually or as part of a group.

Educators: The competition makes a perfect culmination to a group or class journalism project.


Visit www.yre-usa.org for full details and guidelines.


Tune in to this archived webinar to get more tips for crafting a successful entry. Get all the scoop, and then get reporting!

Green and Healthy Student Spotlight

Nicolas Come is the nine-year-old entrepreneur that developed the, "Nicolas' Garden" Mobile App and digital platform, encouraging children to eat and share healthy recipes, be sustainable and eat fresh/locally, and make healthier choices.


Launched only six months ago, "Nicolas' Garden" has already generated over 16 million media impressions worldwide; and Nicolas was invited and met the President of the United States only six weeks after his company launch (photo attached). Since that time, he has been a keynote speaker and guest/celebrity chef for children's programs, California's "Ag in the Classroom" State Conference, and was selected as one of California's, "Forty Under 40" to Watch, and "Student Entrepreneur of the Year." He was working with Jamie Oliver last week.


Nicolas is trying to do with kids, what Jamie is trying to do with adults and schools: inspire healthier choices and kids, as well as promote sustainability/farm-to-fork.


Watch Video and learn about "Nicolas' Garden"


"I have met the President, been on TV countless times." said Come.

He might be nine, but behind the adorable face there is a good business man. Nicolas Come showed off his recently launched app, Nicolas' Garden, to hundreds at this year's SARTA Clean Air Showcase. The event highlights Sacramento's clean technology sector.

Nicolas' Garden is helping kids eat healthier by sharing recipes, creating games and encouraging families to shop locally for produce.  

World Water Day is March 22, 2014: Water & Energy



Water and energy are closely interlinked and interdependent.



GET THE FACTS...World Water Day: Water & Energy




1. Water requires energy and energy requires water

Water is required to produce nearly all forms of energy. Energy is needed at all stages of water extraction, treatment and distribution.


2. Supplies are limited and demand is increasing

Demand for freshwater and energy will continue to increase significantly over the coming decades. This increase will present big challenges and strain resources in nearly all regions, especially in developing and emerging economies.


3. Saving energy is saving water. Saving water is saving energy

Choices concerning the supply, distribution, price, and use of water and energy impact one another.


4. The "bottom billion" urgently needs access to both water and sanitation services, and electricity

Worldwide, 1.3 billion people currently live without electricity, 780 million people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion people are without sanitation. Water and energy have crucial impacts on poverty alleviation.


5. Improving water and energy efficiency is imperative as are coordinated, coherent and concerted policies

Better understanding between the two sectors of the connections and effects on each other will improve coordination in energy and water planning, leading to reducing inefficiencies. Policy-makers, planners and practitioners can take steps to overcome the barriers that exist between their respective domains. Innovative and pragmatic national policies can lead to more efficient and cost effective provision of water and energy services.


Learn More


'Walking School Buses' Picking Up Spped

As featured in sustainablecitynetwork.com by Michelle Volkman


More U.S. children are getting to school the old school way - by walking.

Requiring only two volunteers and a neighborhood of children willing to dress for the weather, the "walking school bus" is part of a growing national trend to combat childhood obesity, traffic congestion and auto emission pollution in urban areas.


According to the "Trends in Walking and Bicycling to School" report released October 2013 by the National Center for Safe Routes to School, a greater percentage of children between the grades of kindergarten and eighth grade are choosing active school travel. Parent surveys showed the percentage of children walking to and from school increased from 12.4 percent in 2007 to 15.7 percent in 2012 in the morning and 15.8 percent in 2007 to 19.7 percent in 2012 in the afternoon. The data was compiled from parent surveys submitted by 8,119 schools representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia


Read Entire Article

ScratchEd Online Community

What is ScratchEd?

Launched in July 2009, ScratchEd is an online community where Scratch educators share stories, exchange resources, ask questions, and find people.


Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games - and share those creations online 


Since its launch, more than 7500 educators from all around the world have joined the community, sharing hundreds of resources and engaging in thousands of discussions.


Join the ScratchEd community for free.


Consider using this tool with eSTEM initiatives!

Input on The Story of Stuff


Since the release of her film, The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard has received requests from educators seeking additional content geared towards a younger audience. She is now starting to work on a book covering issues of production and consumption for grades 3-8 and is seeking input from educators with experience with this age group. The survey includes a sign-up to be kept informed on this project as it progresses.


Take the survey NOW

Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium


To help accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by pre-K-12 schools, the Green Schools Alliance, a global network of more than 3,000 pre-K-12 schools, has created and launched the Green Schools Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium with support from the EPA's Green Power Partnership. The consortium is an international group of pre-K-12 schools joined together to collectively purchase renewable energy for their facilities.


After extensive review, the consortium has chosen an energy provider! There is still time for interested schools to join the consortium and purchase green power at a competitive price.


If you are interested, please register for the Green Schools Alliance's introductory webinar on Friday, January 24th at 1 pm EST where the Green Schools Alliance will announce the selected proposal. Webinar participants will also be able to meet the energy provider and learn about the consortium structure and REC pricing.


Important Dates

  • January 24 - February 7, 2014: Two-week window for schools that submitted a Statement of Intent before November 15th to sign-on to the consortium as a charter member school and execute a REC purchase.
  • January 24 - March 7, 2014: Open enrollment for all schools interested in purchasing RECs to join the consortium and execute a REC purchase.

If you have any questions or feedback about the consortium, please contact Jacob Sneeden at jacob.sneeden@erg.com or visit the Green Schools Renewable Energy Purchasing Consortium webpage.

Mark Your Calendars for National Public Health Week and National Public Schools Day!

National Public Health Week - April 7-13, 2014


National Healthy Schools Day - Tuesday, April 8, 2014


  • Participate locally, in your city or state, or nationally! Become a new or continuing National Healthy Schools Day partner in 2014.  Email info@healthyschools.org for information on how your school or group can be recognized.
  • Make sure to visit the web and make sure to Register your activity so we can add it to the activities map!
Green Strides Webinar Series 2014

The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities the tools to reduce their schools' environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award.


Feb. 5, 2014, 1-2 p.m. Service Learning in the Dynamic Classroom (EarthEcho)

Register here. Join EarthEcho International and a panel of national partners as we explore the difference between service learning and community service. How have classrooms across the country made the transition to high quality service learning? How can you guide your students, while allowing their voice to be heard? What "next steps" can you take with your students towards service learning?


Feb. 12, 2014, 4-4:30 p.m. Meet the Needs of the Common Core (Rainforest Alliance)

Register here. This webinar highlights our correlation to the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and Mathematics. We will explore implementation of example lessons with the Common Core State Standards, and supplemental resources available - free of charge - to help you meet these new demands with fun and exciting hands-on lessons.


View more Webinars for February 


Sign up for the U.S. Department of Education Green Strides Newsletter 
Professional Development Opportunities
Bird Migration and Climate Change - a Professional Development Day for NYC High School Teachers 
February 3, 2014 - New York

After Superstorm Sandy, Jamaica Bay's beaches and dunes, and spawning and nesting habitats for shorebirds and other animals were badly damaged. How will climate change affect animals and plants at the refuge in the future? How are scientists measuring climate impacts? What opportunities are available for teachers and students to investigate these issues in the field, and integrate them into the classroom? Join Hector Galbraith, staff scientist from the National Wildlife Federation, Professor Jennifer Adams from Brooklyn College, and Educational Specialist/National Park Service Ranger Dan Meharg at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge for a first-hand look at how climate change has impacted bird migration in New York City and beyond. Participants will enjoy nature observation from the expansive windows of the refuge's visitor center that overlook the bay's salt marshes, as well as outdoor bird-watching (weather permitting). RSVP to fanoe@nwf.org.

Learn More

Duke Environmental Leadership Program ~ Online

February 3-March 21, 2014 - Online
Register before January 13, 2014 for the reduced tuition rate

Learn how human behavior can affect environmental change! Join the Duke Environmental Leadership (DEL) program for the seven-week, distance-learning course "Environmental Communication for Behavior Change." The rapidly expanding field of environmental communication brings together a set of behavior change tools that can help with environmental enforcement, compliance with regulations, and desired changes in behavior.


This course is also the foundation of DEL's suite of Environmental Communication courses. Other synchronous, online skills courses include social media (April 7-May 16, 2014), writing (June 2-July 11, 2014), and a project-oriented communications planning course (Fall 2014) all tailored specifically to environmental professionals. Students will earn a Certificate in Environmental Communication upon successful completion of all four courses. This course can be taken for graduate credit; register before January 13, 2014 for the reduced tuition rate.


Questions? E-mail del@nicholas.duke.edu or call 919-613-8082.

Learn More

PEAK - Preparing Educators for Adventures with Kids ~ North Carolina

March February 27-March 1, 2014 - Cleveland, North Carolina
This Experiential Education conference is a time for traditional and nontraditional educators to learn, share, and do. With keynote speaker Ryan Olson, participants will be challenged to look at the advancements the environmental field has played in education and discuss the benefits of working with land conservation organizations.

Learn More

Award Opportunities
EPA's EE Teacher Awards - Deadline: February 28. 2014
EPA is welcoming applications from public school teachers (K-12) for the third annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Education. The award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies nationwide for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with their communities and the natural world. Winners will receive $2,000 to support their professional development in environmental education and each winner's school will also receive a $2,000 award to help fund environmental education activities and programs that support the teacher. 

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators - Deadline: February 28, 2014
EPA is currently welcoming applications from public school teachers for the third annual Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. The award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers and their local education agencies nationwide for excellence in integrating environmental education into their lessons and connecting students with their communities and the natural world. 

Opportunity to Recognize EE Providers

SWANA Presents...50 Unsung Heroes-Recognizing Those Making a Difference. SWANA Unsung Heroes is a new recognition program from the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) giving an opportunity to acknowledge individuals or groups in your community who are making a difference in the solid waste industry.


Unsung Heroes can be nominated by members, chapter officers, employers, contractors, sponsors, exhibitors and Technical Division Directors. The individual making the nomination must be a SWANA member.


Please submit your nomination(s) no later than midnight (EST) March 15, 2014.

Learn More

20th Annual Secretary's Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education 
Deadline: March 28, 2014
We encourage you to nominate a school program, teacher and students who are participating in energy and environmental education projects.

Grant Opportunities
The Bezos Scholars Program - Deadline: February 18
Every spring, 30 top high school students and exceptional educators from across the U.S. and Africa are selected to participate in this year-long leadership development program. 
DoSomething.org Seed Grants  Deadline: Ongoing

Are you working to start a community action project or program with your friends? Do you need money to put your ideas into action? A $500 Do Something Seed Grant is given out every week to help young people just like YOU! These grants can be used towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started, or to jump-start your program and realize your ideas for the first time. These grants can also be used towards projects that are already developed and sustainable, towards the next steps of your project and organization to help you as you look to expand your project and grow your impact. Click Here   


Save the Date...

April 2, 2014

7th Annual MA Green Schools Summit - "Developing Energy & Environmentally Literate Students, Schools, and Citizens Across the Commonwealth"
Manchester Essex Regional Middle/High School



Confirmed Address from Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources


Confirmed Welcome from Senator Jamie Eldridge 


Confirmed Address from Robin Organ, Chair of Secretaries Advisory Group of Energy and Environmental Education



Robin Organ

Founder and Executive Director

Green Schools