SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Illinois State Board of Education has launched the Illinois Green Ribbon Schools Award program, which officials say will recognize schools that are leading the way to promote sustainability and environmental education.
The Board of Education will accept applications from from schools that have integrated the best practices in energy, water and waste management, healthy school environments and environmental education.
"These schools are teaching by example, demonstrating the impact our daily practices have on our environments and modeling leadership that makes a difference today and for our generations," said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch in a news release.
"The School environment, from the food that's served to the quality of indoor air, profoundly impacts a student's ability to learn," said Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy and Communications for Healthy Schools Campaign in the news release. "The Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools that are leading the way in providing healthy, safe, and sustainable learning environments for our children."
School districts with fewer than 200,000 students may select one school for which they submit an application.
School districts with more than 200,000 students may select two schools for which they submit applications.
School districts will also have the choice to apply as a district rather than selecting an individual school.
Illinois will be announcing the winners in December.
Illinois has nominated six schools as part of the U.S. Green Ribbon Schools program, established in 2011.
The U.S. Department of Education's winners will be announced in April 2014, followed by an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. Four winners from the new Illinois state program will be entered into the national competition.
Applications are available on the Illinois State Board of Education's website and must be submitted online or to the Illinois State Board of Education office in Springfield by 5 p.m. on November 15.