Livermore School Wins National Green Ribbon Award | News

Altamont Creek Elementary School in Livermore recently received the honor of being named a Green Ribbon School by the US Department of Education, becoming one of four schools in California to receive the national award.

Fenna Gatty, a science and STEM teacher at Altamont Creek, spoke to the Weekly after the award was announced on Earth Day, saying the school’s journey towards environmental sustainability has only just begun.

“The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools provides a ‘Roadmap’ of resources, examples, and guidance to help us achieve our health, environmental impact reduction, and education goals. environment integrating STEM that will prepare students for their future,” Gatty mentioned.

Across the country, 27 schools, five districts, and four post-secondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and provide effective education to sustainable development, according to officials.

The other 2022 California green ribbon schools were Katella High School in Anaheim, Suisun Valley K-8 School in Fairfield and St. Martin of Tours Academy in La Mesa. In addition, Merced Union High School in Atwater received the District’s Sustainability Award.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said this year’s winners have all raised the bar for sustainability, healthy and safe school environments, and their hands-on learning experiences connect students to the world. that surrounds them.

“As we recover from a pandemic that has highlighted the need to modernize school infrastructure, improve ventilation and create versatile indoor and outdoor learning spaces, we have the opportunity to invest in sustainable practices that improve student learning, health and well-being,” Cardona said, adding:

“At the Department of Education, I am proud that we are proposing to create a new Office of Infrastructure and Sustainability to support state and local leaders in these efforts, and that we have appointed a Special Advisor for this vital work. .”

Gatty said Altamont Creek has been working on sustainable practices for over a decade now, but has the potential to scale further with additional help.

“There are so many schools doing great work and if we can team up and share ideas and work with our community partners to educate others, then I think we can make a difference,” Gatty said.

According to Gatty, credit for the honor goes to everyone connected with the cause, such as the Livermore Valley Unified School District and partnerships with their state, county and community agencies who provided training and assistance. for the implementation of best practices in next-generation science standards. and to meet legislative mandates, such as Assembly Bill 827 and Senate Bill 1383.

“Director Andrea Tapia and all of us at Altamont are grateful for the recognition and appreciate the community support,” Gatty said. “Thank goodness for our government agencies, non-profit organizations, and district vision to provide the best learning environment and the preparation of our students to do what is best for their mission.”

Speaking about the students’ participation in the program, Gatty said that after returning from two years of confinement, students were eager to start recycling from the first week of school.

“They got into recycling, to kick off the green team and everything our first week back, so they’re really the catalyst and it’s become a culture at our school,” she said.

Environmental awareness, according to Gatty, can be seen in children as young as second grade, because that’s when they learn about property issues and break down in the classroom.

“They look around, they visually see things that are recycling or not, whether it’s trash, things that could be harmful to wildlife,” Gatty said. “I think they’re becoming more observant and realizing that they don’t have to wait until they’re adults to make a difference.”

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