Green Ribbon SchoolThe Obama administration announced the winners of the first-ever U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, with 78 schools across 29 states and D.C. receiving the honor.

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools is a federal recognition program that began in September 2011 and awards “Green Ribbons” for one year to schools that utilize a comprehensive approach to creating “green” environments by reducing their carbon footprint, promoting healthy living, and maintaining a high-quality environmental and outdoor education for students.

Over 350 school submitted applications to their respective state education agencies. Of the 78 selected schools from nearly 100 nominees, there are 66 public and 12 private schools, with around 50 percent representing high poverty schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, joined by White House Council of Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, made the announcement while visiting Stoddert Elementary School—one of the two schools honored in D.C.

“Science, environmental and outdoor education plays a central role in providing children with a well-rounded education, helping prepare them for the jobs of the future,” said Duncan. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools demonstrate compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments.”

Next year’s competition will be open in summer 2012. State agencies are encouraged to send their intents to submit nominees by June 15 via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .