If your school resides in one of the 33 participating states, you can now apply to your state education authority to be one of up to four nominees from your state for the new U.S. Department of Education 2012 Green Ribbon Award! Most if not all schools who are nominated by their state are likely to win the Green Ribbon award, so consider applying now. General information on Green Ribbon can be found at: www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html
While the award confers no immediate federal funds, winners of the Green Ribbon, like U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon award winners, are likely to see extensive national and local press coverage, re-energized staff and parents, enhanced community support, increased application rates (private and choice schools), access to new business partners and other private financial assistance, and receive an invitation to participate in a national recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C.
At least 22 of the 33 participating states have recently opened their competitions (and more are expected this week). Click on your state to go to their Green Ribbon website for details: Arkansas, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Bureau of Indian Education.
Deadlines: Applications are generally due by mid to late February (each state has a different schedule) so that states can get their nominees to the Department by the March 22 deadline.
Help with your application: If you're having trouble with your application, the first place to seek help is your state Green Ribbon contact. You can find that person here:
In addition, California is conducting a webinar on their application for schools at 11:00 PT on January 20th (which should be archived on their Green Ribbon website if you miss it), and Washington State has posted a similar online webinar which is available for viewing now. Both of these basic
overviews may be helpful for schools from most participating states even though every state application differs.
Finally, members of the Green Ribbon Schools Partnership (Campaign for Environmental Literacy, Earth Day Network, National Wildlife Federation and US Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools) are doing their best to help as well, given that no two state applications are exactly alike. The Partnership will deliver a webinar on the application Tuesday, January 31, 2012 4:00 pm EST: https://usgbc.webex.com/usgbc/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=756754979
Event number: 756 754 979 Event password: Gr33n1
Teleconference (if you just want to listen in): 1-866-469-3239 Access
code: 756 754 979
The Partnership is also developing a website (www.greenribbon.org) which will launch soon and will be helpful for those working on their school Green Ribbon application. In the meantime, feel free to shoot a note if you have questions about the GR application to one of the following:
- firstname.lastname@example.org (National Wildlife Federations' Eco-Schools USA program), OR
- email@example.com (Earth Day Network), OR
- Contact your local U.S. Green Building Council Chapter Green Schools Committee directly: www.usgbc.org/FindaChapter/ChapList.aspx
The Green Ribbon award is a wonderful recognition by the U.S. Department of Education of the importance of green schools, and we hope you'll take this unprecedented opportunity to showcase your hard work. Even if you don't think your school will win, working on the application is a terrific opportunity in itself to discover new steps you can take to becoming a green school.