Schools, students, teachers can apply online for green awards from Florida
In celebration of National Environmental Education Week, Governor Charlie Crist today announced that Serve to Preserve: Green Schools Awards applications and judging will now be completely paperless, using only online technologies. Applications recognizing students, teachers, classrooms, schools and school districts for their efforts to create healthy, efficient and productive places for learning can be submitted beginning today through June 11, 2010.
“Helping our students better understand the connection between conserving energy and protecting Florida’s natural resources helps build a better future for the Sunshine State,” said Governor Crist. “Eliminating paper waste from the awards program that recognizes the environmental-awareness efforts of our schools demonstrates how we can lead by example.”
Eligible projects will be categorized in four themes:
- Green learning environments, including indoor and outdoor facilities.
- Exemplary green curriculum or teacher professional development programs.
- Green service learning projects.
- Green policies or partnerships.
“Our pledge to the environment must begin with Florida’s students, so one day they will become life-long stewards of our state’s natural resources,” said Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Secretary Michael W. Sole. “We look forward to seeing the outstanding green projects and initiatives that Florida’s schools are undertaking.”
The Serve to Preserve: Green Schools Awards, launched last Earth Day, is made possible through a partnership with DEP, the Florida Department of Education, the Collins Center’s Sustainable Florida Program, Florida’s Foundation (formerly the Governor’s Volunteer Florida Foundation) and the Florida Association of School Administrators. One goal of the award is to celebrate the positive effect Florida’s students have in protecting the state’s natural resources.
“Florida’s schools continue to become more environmentally sustainable, and in doing so, our students are learning critical lessons about the value of their surroundings,” said Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I am proud to be part of a program that has already benefited students and families across the state of Florida by delivering green results to our classrooms.”
Last year, 125 applications were received and 15 finalists participated in an awards ceremony in Tampa where the five state winners were announced.
In 2008, the Governor signed House Bill 7135, the 2008 Energy and Economic Development Legislation, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy efficiency and encouraging investment in alternative and renewable energy technologies. This comprehensive legislation created the Florida Energy & Climate Commission, a central office for state energy and climate change programs and policies. In addition, the legislation requires the Florida Departments of Environmental Protection and Education to coordinate with the business, environmental and energy communities to develop an awards program to recognize quality education programs that also preserve the environment.
Applications will be accepted through June 11 and will be reviewed during the summer. To complete a nomination application, go to www.MyFloridaClimate.com.
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