North Shore school awarded for “green” teaching effortsWhat’s better than winning a blue ribbon? Winning a green one. The U.S. Department of Education recently named the North Shore Community School in Duluth Township a Green Ribbon school—making it one of only 78 schools in the country and one of three in Minnesota to be honored with the title. The Green Ribbon program began last year and aims to highlight American schools that offer excellent education in a green learning environment.
What’s better than winning a blue ribbon? Winning a green one.
The U.S. Department of Education recently named the North Shore Community School in Duluth Township a Green Ribbon school—making it one of only 78 schools in the country and one of three in Minnesota to be honored with the title. The Green Ribbon program began last year and aims to highlight American schools that offer excellent education in a green learning environment.
The North Shore Community School is one of eight public charter schools and 43 elementary schools across the county who are now Green Ribbon schools. North Shore Community School Director Susan Rose said she and her staff could not be more pleased.
“What an honor to be part of such a small group,” she said.
North Shore Community School second-grade teacher Anne Wiszowaty said she and her colleagues were excited when they learned last week their school was one of the finalists. Wiszowaty is also a parent of a North Shore Community School student and said she couldn’t be prouder to send her child there.
“It just makes our small school take a big place in a bigger world,” she said.
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is a federal recognition program that began in September. Honored schools take a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health, and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education.
“Science, environmental and outdoor education plays a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education, helping prepare them for the jobs of the future,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools have demonstrated compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skill sets, cut school costs and provide healthy learning environments.”
Rose said North Shore Community School’s dedication to environmental literacy helped it stand out when it applied for the Green Ribbon earlier this year. More than 350 applications were submitted for Green Ribbon consideration.
Rose said North Shore Community School teachers help their 328 students learn about their natural and social environment, and they teach using environmental notions and concepts. For example, students learn about circumference by measuring trees. A Minnesota Department of Natural Resource-supported school forest is on the school grounds as well as a greenhouse. Students also compost lunch leftovers.
“The opportunity for kids to learn about their relationship with their environment has become natural and a part of what they do,” Rose said.
The Green Ribbon honor is a yearly one. Rose said the North Shore Community School will apply for the Green Ribbon award again next year.
“We want to build upon our current achievements,” she said.
North Shore Community School celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and serves students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The school used to be a part of the Lake Superior School District, which has schools in Silver Bay and Two Harbors. The North Shore Community School is located on Ryan Road in the Duluth Township and is a tuition-free charter school.
The other Green Ribbon schools in Minnesota are the Garlough Environmental Magnet School in West St. Paul and Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph.
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