Atascadero school honored with Department of Education ‘Green Ribbon’
–Monterey Road Elementary School, part of Atascadero Unified School District, was recently nationally recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
At the event, 46 schools and six districts from across the nation were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education.
Monterey Road Elementary School was nominated by the California Department of Education for this prestigious award.
The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 40 public schools and 6 non-public schools.
Monterey Road began this journey in June 2015 when they partnered with Cuesta Community College Sustainability Resource Center. Teachers attended professional development around the Next Generation Science Standards and designed sustainability units to be implemented across grade levels. In addition, Monterey Road partnered with One Cool Earth, a nonprofit organization, in an effort to increase recycling. In January 2016 and 2017, One Cool Earth conducted a Waste Audit with the students and staff where the students and staff learned how they could sort and recycle waste on campus daily.
Upon completion of the audit, the students and staff made a commitment to increase recycling efforts and waste reduction. Soon a “Green Team” made up of student volunteers was running the compost stations at lunch where waste is either recycled or treated and transformed into compost to use in the school garden. The garden has now been transformed to an outdoor classroom where students learn responsibility through planting and harvesting annual crops.
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