Eco-Schools USA attends first-ever Green Schools National Conference
This week, the first-ever Green Schools National Conference took place in Minneapolis. National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program took part in this energizing event to advance the cause of greening our nation’s schools.
Along with NWF’s Kevin Coyle and Carey Stanton, I was there to represent Eco-Schools USA and join an inspiring conversation about how we can all work together to improve the educational experience for America’s students.
With a booth in the exhibit hall and a well-attended breakout session, we were able to talk with many people about NWF’s green schools program, share success stories from some of the nearly 360 Eco-Schools in the United States, and gather ideas about how we can make the experience even more effective.
The green schools conference brought together a wide variety of groups interested in promoting the advancement of environment-focused educational programs and practices in our nation’s schools. Some, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, offered expertise in designing efficient, healthy buildings.
Other participants promoted the value of healthy food and hands-on learning experiences. Teachers and administrators from schools at all stages of the greening process shared their insights. Comprehensive green schools programs such as Eco-Schools USA brought step-by-step methods to help schools tailor site-specific greening initiatives that incorporate the building, the school grounds, and the curriculum and student experience.
Perhaps most importantly, more than 100 high school students from around the country convened for a Green Schools National Youth Summit. A group of passionate youth reminded me that students are fired up to make a difference for the planet. “Just try to stop us!” one student said. Of course, stopping the students is the last thing we want to do.
I’m sure I speak for all the Green Schools National Conference participants and supporters when I say, “Full speed ahead!”
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