Green Schools National Conference Draws Student Participation in ColoradoThe Greens Schools National Network’s (GSNN) mission is to advance the National Green and Healthy Schools movement by connecting like-minded and passionate education, non-profit, corporate and public sector individuals and organizations.
What better place to do that than in beautiful Denver, CO, at the just-concluded second annual Green Schools National Conference?
With about 1000 attendees representing 43 U.S. states, 5 Canadian provinces and the Bahamas, the conference was a great place to gather around the common cause of greening more American schools. National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-Schools USA program was proud to be a part of the excitement, camaraderie and discussion during this three-day event dedicated to propelling the movement forward.
Among highlights was the participation of area students in the ‘Student Summit’ with featured speaker (and fellow kid) Alec Loorz, founder of Kids vs. Global Warming, who inspired and motivated with his passion for environmental conservation. The goals of the student summit were to:
- Give students the opportunity to connect and discuss environmental issues
- Allow the exchange of ideas and creation of new structures for sustainable change
- Draw on the knowledge and skill sets of experts and resources at the Green Schools National Conference
- Create a collaborative space to build on their strengths and recognize the power of youth leadership in the larger efforts to develop sustainable learning environments.
An amazing group of environmental champions from various areas were in attendance, including Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (see his remarks here), Stonyfield Farm Chairman Gary Hirshberg, Captain Planet Foundation Chairman Laura Turner-Seydel, Gracefully Global Group Chief Creative Officer Graciela Tiscareno-Sato and Majora Carter of the Majora Carter Group.
In addition to speakers and resources at the event itself, attendees had several professional growth opportunities, which included field trips to local green schools (including the Denver Green School); ‘Solutions Summits’ like Making the Case: Connecting Green and Healthy Schools with Student Achievement and Overcoming Obstacles to Bring Healthy Food Into Schools; and more than 100 other sessions related to our common goal, moving the greens schools movement forward.
To find out more about the Eco-Schools USA program’s alignment with the Department of Education’s new US Green Ribbon School Awards program click here. To find out how to become an Eco-School, visit our website. To learn about how green schools are healthier schools, read more from our newly launched ‘Healthy Schools’ pathway.