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Press Release

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

U.S. DOE Recognizes Florida Schools for Going Green

- Two Florida schools and one Florida district win Green Ribbon Schools award -

Tallahassee, Fla., April 23, 2013 - Florida students, teachers and administrators from two schools and one school district are celebrating after officials with the U.S. Department of Education recognize them for going green. The second annual Green Ribbon Schools award was announced Monday afternoon to correlate with Earth Day.

Driftwood Middle School in Hollywood, Fla., St. Paul Lutheran School in Lakeland, Fla., and the School District of Palm Beach County all took home the award. The schools were selected for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health and ensure effective environmental education. Palm Beach County was one of 14 districts honored with the first-ever District Sustainability Award.

"Preparing students for future success begins in the classroom," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "I want to thank teachers in these schools for taking the time and initiative to teach our children about not only the importance of excelling in academics, but also about the responsibility each person has in creating a sustainable way of living. Kudos to these teachers demonstrating best practices in providing students with skills tailored toward jobs of the future."

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors schools 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 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.

In addition to this national competition, Florida has been recognizing students, classes, teachers, schools and districts through the Florida Green School Awards Program since 2008. The application for the new 2012-2013 Florida Green School Awards is now open. Students, teachers and classes are encouraged to apply now through June 7, 2013. Schools and school districts are encouraged to apply now through July 12, 2013.