Los Cerritos Elementary School in Long Beach has been awarded the 2015 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award. Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Christy Goldfuss joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Wednesday to make the announcement.
"We're so pleased that the U.S. Department of Education has chosen our school as a national Green Ribbon School,” said Los Cerritos Principal Marie Hatwan in a statement. “This award represents a lot of hard work by our students, parents and staff. In the process, our students are learning valuable lessons about reducing waste and helping to create a greener and healthier world."
Los Cerritos is the fifth school in the Long Beach Unified School District to earn the national award, according to the release, and was chosen due to exemplary efforts made to reduce its environmental impact. The award recognizes this, as well as schools promoting better health and providing effective environmental education.
The school’s Urban Farmyard is a designated Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Butterfly Weigh Station that has been cited as a model school garden by the California School Garden Network, while Environmental programs like Cool the Earth, Roots & Shoots and Green Team and Walk-to-School Wednesday, Walking School Bus and Bike-Friendly Friday activities prompted State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson to nominate Los Cerritos for the award.
58 schools across the country and 14 districts were honored in total. In addition, nine colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Duncan and Goldfuss made the announcement at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC.
“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs and provide healthy learning environments,” Duncan said in a statement. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement. We also are thrilled to add institutions of higher education to the list of honorees this year for the first time in the award’s history.”
A ceremony to celebrate the honorees is scheduled for June 3 in Washington, DC.