Travilah Elementary School in North Potomac was named a recipient of the 2014 U.S. Green Ribbon Schools Award Tuesday, one of just 48 winning schools from across the nation.
The Green Ribbon Schools Award program, established in 2011, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and recognizes schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement.
“I am so proud of the staff student and the parents of this fabulous community,” said school Principal Susan Shenk. “I hope these students see these things we do and continue them in their adult life.”
Travilah students, dressed in green for Earth Day, watched the U.S. Department of Education announcement live Tuesday, Shenk said.
“This award is a reflection of our district’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that all MCPS schools and facilities are environmentally friendly and foster healthy and productive learning environments,” said Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr.
Travilah Elementary School has an active School Energy and Recycling Team Program that works to reduce the school’s energy consumption and increase recycling. They have a robust Environmental Literacy Program that engages students at all grade levels. There are six organic gardens on the property that are used to teach students about plant growth, rocks, minerals and the ecosystem.
One of the biggest green practices at the school involves collecting its foamed plastic lunch trays and giving them to Whole Foods so they can be recycled.
The 48 U.S. Green Ribbon Schools were selected from among nearly 100 nominees submitted by 30 state education agencies and the District of Columbia.
The county’s school system also was selected as the recipient of the District Sustainability Award, which recognizes school systems that demonstrate a comprehensive approach to sustainability. MCPS was one of 14 honorees nationwide.
Representatives from the winning schools are invited to participate in a national awards ceremony in July. The Maryland recipients will also be recognized during the Maryland Green Schools Youth Summit sponsored by the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education on May 30, at Sandy State Park in Anne Arundel County.