Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2010 Maryland Green School Awards – Another Record Breaking Year

2010 Maryland Green School Awards – Another Record Breaking Year –
16% of all Maryland Schools are Certified Maryland Green Schools

On June 4th, 2010 at Sandy Point State Park, the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) will publicly recognize, honor, and certify the 12th cohort of Maryland Green Schools and Maryland Green Centers. Seventy-seven (77) schools and five
(5) centers this will be receiving the award for the first time; nineteen (19) schools will receive the award as a recertification after four or more years; and for the first time in the program’s history, four (4) schools, that have maintained their Maryland Green School Status for 16 years will be honored as Model Green Schools. “Interest and participation in the Maryland Green School Program has hit critical mass. With seventy-six newly certified schools in 2010, the percentage of certified Maryland Green Schools jumps from 10% to 16% of all Maryland schools (public and private). Such significant growth represents a true paradigm shift.” states MAEOE Executive Director, Bronwyn Mitchell.

The schools and centers receiving the 2010 Maryland Green School Award have created a culture of learning at the school and in their community. Using the Maryland Green School framework, which includes teacher training, curricular integration, student-led environmental best management projects, community engagement and celebration; these schools have figured out that "green" learning is more than just a few environmentally friendly projects. Ryan Pleune, the Maryland Green Schools coordinator who has worked in education for ten years explains: "What is clear to me about learning and student achievement is that students especially students who are struggling must feel an urgent need to learn something before they will go through the hard work of learning it. The Maryland Green Schools Program provides a map for schools and their stakeholders to develop a culture of learning that is compelling and creates a desire to learn.”

Why are so many Maryland Schools committing time and resources to becoming a certified Maryland Green School? Inquiry or project-based, hands-on learning, the platform upon which the Maryland Green School Program’s framework is built complements current brain research which shows that students need to feel safe; they have to feel accepted; and then they have to feel actively engaged and physically engaged, in order access the full capacity of their brain and develop higher order thinking skills. Maryland Green Schools are reporting that they:
• are healthier environments for learning
• stimulate the active pursuit of knowledge
• empower students
• increase school pride and the self-esteem of students and teachers
• improve scores on standardized tests
• encourage an active lifestyle - a building block for sustained health

For the complete list of this years winners please visit the MAEOE website - maeoe.org