Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools program recognizes schools at youth summit

From the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet

Twenty-six Kentucky schools received awards at the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools — Kentucky National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project Youth Summit and Awards luncheon on May 18 in Frankfort.

The fourth annual event recognized students that participate in the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools (KGHS) program and the Kentucky NEED Project. First Lady Jane Beshear addressed event attendees via video message and Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Joseph U. Meyer was the keynote speaker.

More than 200 schools across Kentucky participate in the KGHS program, which started in 2007. Staff and students in the program implement efficiency and environmental sustainability projects at their schools in nine areas: energy, indoor air quality, green spaces, hazardous chemicals, water, health and nutrition, transportation, solid waste, and instructional leadership.

At the event, 26 schools were presented with awards for the work their students completed this school year.

For the second consecutive year, Fayette County’s Henry Clay High School received the highest level of award given when it was designated as a Model Kentucky Green & Healthy School.

Wellington Elementary in Fayette County received the New Kentucky Green & Healthy School flag for implementing energy efficient and sustainable design features when the school was constructed. Jessie Clark Middle School and Montessori Middle School of Kentucky, both Fayette County, received Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools flags for completing nine projects.

Notre Dame Academy, Jefferson County; Old Mill Elementary, Bullitt County; and Tichenor Middle School, Kenton County, were awarded School in Progress plaques for completing three projects. Another 19 schools received certificates for joining KGHS and completing initial student team work.

“In its fourth successful year, the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools program enrollment has grown to over 200 schools and it continues to build momentum. It’s exciting to see students and faculty from elementary through high school learn about and improve their own health and the sustainability of their environment,” said Meyer.

More than 30 Kentucky schools participated in the summit this year.

“Many of the schools took advantage of grants made available through KGHS this year by federal stimulus funding from the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence. This grant program has funded 38 energy saving projects at schools across Kentucky so far, and funding is available through the spring of 2012 unless available funds are disbursed sooner,” said Elizabeth Schmitz, executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council.

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