Archive for April 22nd, 2013

Green Ribbon School Award: Reading Elementary with National Park Partner

Just to save you the bother of reading the whole release, this news comes down to three talking points: 

First: It’s a U.S. Department of Education National Award!  One of just 64 nationally. 

Second: It’s an award for a project to eradicate poison ivy by using local goats to eat the stuff. How cool is that?

Third: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park is very involved with local kids’ environmental education so this is a feather in their cap!


Press Release from Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin:

MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Vermont Education Secretary Armando Vilaseca, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, along with the Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe, today announced the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees and inaugural District Sustainability Awardees nominated by the Vermont Agency of Education. Reading Elementary School, St. Albans City Elementary School, and Shelburne Community School are among the 64 schools nationally announced as 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools.

The selected districts and schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.

“These schools serve as a model for how small schools can do big things to protect the environment, use less fossil fuel, and engage students in achieving important environmental goals,” Gov. Shumlin said.

“Students are a large part of the solution, they are full of creative ideas and energy,” said Vilaseca. “Our schools have been successful at collaborating and partnering within their communities and throughout Vermont in making their schools more environmentally friendly, and now they are being recognized nationally for the great work they are doing.”

Reading Elementary School students presented at the Vermont State Science Teachers Conference and won the Governor’s Award citing their commonsense solutions to eradicate poison ivy on the school’s playscape — using locally-owned goats to eat the plant. Staff and students at the Reading school partnered with Spring Brook Farm in Reading, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Parks in Woodstock and Shelburne Farms in Shelburne on the project.

“Our small community school in Reading makes huge efforts to lead by example,” said Dr. Lou Lafasciano, Principal of Reading Elementary School. “This GRS award is yet another testament to all those hard-working students, staff, community members and local partners who are setting an example for the future through the rural sustainability model we are establishing today!”