Rhode Island Environmental
Education Association

Green Ribbon Schools

The annual US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award was launched in 2011 as the first comprehensive federal program addressing the environmental impact, health, and education of our schools. Although winning schools may go about their efforts in very different ways, they are all honored for their exemplary achievement in:

  1. reducing environmental impact;
  2. improving health; and
  3. providing effective environmental education.

For more information, visit the Rhode Island Department of Education website.

Since 2012, Rhode Island has had twenty-three (23) winners. In addition, the Rhode Island Department of Education School Building Authority (SBA) received the ED-GRS Director’s Award in 2021. Congratulations to our friends and partners, Joseph da Silva, Mario Carreno, and Manuel Cordero at SBA on this well-deserved recognition for your leadership and hard work!

The winning schools/districts include:

  • 2024 Winners:
    • Dunn’s Corners School, Westerly
    • Frank D. Spaziano Elementary School, Providence
    • Garden City Elementary School, Cranston
    • William D’Abate Elementary School, Providence
    • Chariho Regional School District, Wood River Junction
  • 2023 Winners:
    • East Providence High School, East Providence
    • Jamestown School Department, Jamestown
  • 2022 Winner:
    • Lincoln High School, Lincoln
  • 2021 Winners:
    • Barrington Middle School, Barrington
    • Portsmouth School Department, Portsmouth
  • 2020 Winner:
    • The Grace School at Meeting Street, Providence
  • 2018 Winners:
    • Potter-Burns Elementary School, Pawtucket
    • University of Rhode Island, Kingston
  • 2017 Winners:
    • Moses Brown School, Providence
    • Rhode Island College, Providence
  • 2015 Winners:
    • Ponaganset High School, North Scituate
    • Paul Crowley East Bay Met Center, Newport
  • 2014 Winners:
    • Claiborne Pell Elementary School, Newport
    • The Greene School, West Greenwich
  • 2013 Winners:
    • Providence Career and Technical Academy (PCTA), Providence
    • The Compass School, Kingston
  • 2012 Winners:
    • Nathan Bishop Middle School, Providence
    • Classical High School, Providence

As with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, becoming a Green Ribbon School is a two-step process. The first step is to complete and submit an application to be selected as a nominee by the RI Department of Education (RIDE). The second step of the process requires signatures for the nominee package that will be sent to the US Department of Education. Honorees may find raising financial and technical support for their efforts to be a little easier as a result of their title. All Rhode Island schools are eligible to participate.

Pillar I: Reducing Environmental Impact. Improvements to K-12 school facilities save schools money, strengthen the nation’s energy security, and conserve natural resources. Such improvements may include: reducing or eliminating greenhouse gas; improving water quality, efficiency, and conservation; reducing waste production; and using alternative transportation.

Pillar II: Improving Health. High standards for safety, nutrition, and fitness improve student and staff health, attendance and achievement. These standards can by met by developing an integrated school environmental health program that addresses integrated pest management, contaminant controls and ventilation, nutrition, fitness, outdoor time, and more.

Pillar III: Providing Effective Environmental Education. Environmental education (EE) prepares students to be good citizens and enhances achievement and engagement in all subjects, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. An effective EE program will enhance the curriculum and instruction of multiple subjects, providing meaningful, authentic, and applied learning experiences inside and outside the classroom and school day. These experiences readily align with the Common Core State Standards as well as the Next Generation Science Standards as they are relevant to the real world, encourage a deeper understanding and application of content, reveal the interconnected nature of science, and more.

Green Ribbon Schools in Rhode Island. Rhode Island has been at the forefront of the green-school movement as well as the EE movement. In 2007, Rhode Island’s school-construction regulations set high standards for energy efficiency and resource-friendly construction. In both EE and school construction, we have forged successful partnerships between the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), RIEEA, formal and nonformal educators, the Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, the building and construction industries, food-service industries, nonprofit environmental agencies, and federal agencies such as the US Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore, each Rhode Island school has the potential to serve as an example on the national stage.

For more information about ED-GRS, visit the website. If you would like to learn more about RIEEA supporting your school as you apply, please contact us.

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