FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/6/13) – Students and teachers from across the Commonwealth were recognized June 5 for their participation in project-based learning programs during the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools (KGHS) and Kentucky National Energy Education Development (KY NEED) Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon.
All award recipients completed a rigorous program of research and school improvement in at least one of nine topics in health and environmental sustainability. In all, 17 schools received 22 KGHS awards this year for leading efforts to save their schools money, reduce harmful environmental impacts, reduce energy consumption and improve student health. Those attending the event showcased their projects to other student leaders. Additional students and schools were honored for their efforts in the NEED Project.
West Hardin Middle School in Hardin County achieved Model Kentucky Green and Healthy School status, the highest level in the program. It is only the third school in the Commonwealth to receive this honor. Model schools serve as mentors to other KGHS schools, and continue their school improvement projects above and beyond the required nine categories.
Pikeville Junior and High School in Pike County completed all nine categories of the program to achieve Kentucky Green and Healthy School status, the eighth school in Kentucky to do so. Kelly Scott, of Pikeville, received the KGHS Teacher of the Year Award for her efforts during the 2012-2013 school year.
KGHS Coordinator Michelle Shane said more than 260 schools in more than 75 counties are currently enrolled in the program.
“The KGHS program is an exciting opportunity for teachers to provide experiential learning to their students,” said Shane. “Not only do the projects tie into the curricula, they also address real-world issues that impact local communities. This type of learning has been shown to increase retention and more fully engage students.”
Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) Executive Director Elizabeth Schmitz said, “It is always inspiring to see the student work showcased during this event. Students are gaining 21st century skills through applied learning, including communication, problem-solving and teamwork. Solving real-world problems at school also translates into stronger math, science and language arts abilities.”
The KGHS program is co-administered by the KEEC and the Kentucky Department of Education.
For more information about the KGHS program, visit www.greenschools.ky.gov. To contact the KEEC, visit keec.ky.gov or call toll-free (800) 882-5271.
Information provided by Kim Brannock
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