The Federal Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) recognition award, now in its third year, honors schools and districts 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. Last year, two out of three Tennessee schools that applied for the GRS award received recognition. These two schools represented two out sixty-four across the nation.
The selected districts are saving millions of dollars as a result of their greening efforts. If your district has participated in any phase of Tennessee's Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) then you may be able to realize the successes experienced by these award winning schools. You may be able to demonstrate the same documented reductions in utility costs. Your district may already support progressive energy action plans and have practices in place for promoting better health and wellness.
The achievements through EESI across the state are remarkable and deserving of national commendation. Your district is officially invited to join Tennessee's efforts in gaining national recognition for our efforts and strides in moving towards green alliances in our school systems. We encourage you to look at the three pillars referenced in the award application and determine if your district, or a school in your district, would be a viable candidate for the Tennessee Department of Education to nominate on a national level. A committee from this department will review applications and select up to four schools or districts to present as candidates for the award. The U.S. Department of Education receives school nominees from state education agencies in the winter and announces them annually on Earth Day, April 22nd. The honorees are invited to a national ceremony in the summer.
You may access the application from our website at www.tn.gov/eesi/. District/School applications are due by January 17, 2014. Submissions may be sent to Holly Russ in PDF format via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are applying as a district please contact Holly Russ at (615)532-8273 to discuss possible alternatives to the individual school application. Listed below are links that may prove to be resourceful as you make your application for the GRS award. Here you will find valuable feedback for all winning schools applications across the nation for 2012 honorees. Additionally, a link to the "Highlights from the 2013 Honorees" newsletter has been listed which showcases successful policies and practices implemented across the board.
The application for nomination to U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) can be found here.