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WCI Teaches "Green" and Gains Education Honors

Sandi Chapnick, Specialist, PALS Partners in Education and Nancy Dubin, Principal of Laurel Nokomis School offer congratulations to Steve Walker, Vice President and Project Manager at Venetian Golf & River Club on WCI/Venetian's district honor as one of Sarasota County's "Outstanding Corporate Partners" in education.

Sarasota County Schools and PALS Partners in Education recently honored WCI Communities with one of its "Outstanding Corporate Partner in Education" awards.

The district honor follows WCI's nomination by Laurel Nokomis School as its "Business Partner of the Year."

WCI won on the district level for its support of the Nokomis school through its Habitats for Learning field study of environmental awareness and green building, which was presented to students at Venetian Golf & River Club. Venetian is certified as a Green Design Standard community by the Florida Green Building Coalition and is one of four communities in the state recognized by the group.

PALS announced the district award winners at a reception at the Country Club of Sarasota.

"WCI has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability as well as education," said Steve Walker, Vice President and Project Manager at Venetian. "WCI believes in being a good neighbor with our area schools and we are honored to be recognized."

In winning at the district level, WCI will compete for statewide education honors at the Education Commissioner's Business Recognition Awards in Orlando on April 14.

Seventh grade science students visited Venetian Golf & River Club for WCI's Habitats program, which combined school science courses with presentations on environmental sustainability by WCI's environmental and green building experts. The study included water monitoring experiments; tours of FP&L's hydrogen fuel cell; recycling workshops; tours of a "green" demonstration home and Learning Lab; and a "Wonders of Nature" wildlife show that allowed interaction with over a dozen live animals.

"The field study was a good match with our curriculum on how humans impact the environment," said Cindy Schlotterback, a 7th grade teacher at Laurel Nokomis School. "WCI demonstrated ways it preserves the land, such as recycling resources, energy conservation and their commitment to green building."

Additionally, WCI and Venetian have supported Laurel Nokomis School with donations of books for a reading program and 19 personal computers.