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2 Long Beach Schools Getting Visit From Federal Schools Officials

The two are Green Ribbon award winning schools.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
Two Long Beach schools that were honored with a Green Ribbon award for their work in reducing their carbon footprints will be toured by U.S. Education Department officials Tuesday.

Longfellow Elementary School, 3800 Olive Ave., will be toured from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., officials will tour Charles Evans Hughes Middle School, 3846 California Ave.

The two are Green Ribbon award winning schools.

Through Longfellow’s lunchtime and classroom recycling programs and other efforts, the school has diverted more than 100,000 pounds of trash from landfills over two years, the district announced in 2012.

The daily recycling of food wrappers, juice pouches and other items has become second nature at Longfellow, where students diligently separate their trash into recycling bins.

“It’s become part of our campus culture,” principal Laurie Murrin said at the time.

In addition to recycling, Longfellow Green Team volunteers deliver unused cold foods and milk to Food Finders, a local food bank distributor, on a daily basis. 

Students participate in a Walk to School Wednesday program.  Volunteers hold a monthly Uniform Swap, and the school has a new Junior Green Team of fourth and fifth graders.

At Hughes Middle, students since 2007 have built 12 themed gardens and planted more than 40 campus trees.

New landscaping on the campus perimeter includes plants known to capture particulate matter, in an effort to improve air quality for the school and its neighbors.

Hughes' Student Green Team publishes the Green Gazette, a schoolwide eco-newsletter that includes healthy recipes using produce from the school's gardens. 

Interpretive signs outline the environmental principles in the school's landscape, like composting, vegetable gardening, xeriscaping, butterfly gardening, recycling, biodiversity, beneficial herbs, and labyrinth walking. 

Hughes joins forces with a local bike store to host monthly bike repair and safety workshops on campus, encouraging ridership throughout the community.

According to the Dept. of Education Website, the award is given to "schools and districts that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff."

Officials attending include: 

  • Hal Plotkin, senior advisor to the under secretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • Helen Littlejohn, western states regional director of communications and outreach, U.S. Department of Education
  • Linda Pauley, public affairs specialist for the Northwest, U.S. Department of Education
  • Tom McKenna, teach ambassador fellow, U.S. Department of Education
  • Ronna Bach, division director of special nutrition programs, USDA

  • Michael Ladd, regional public affairs director, USDA

The visits will include tours of school buildings and grounds, conversations with students and teachers regarding environmental education, health and sustainability, and discussions with key partners and energy management personnel. 

In addition, during the tour, all state and district facilities personnel from the region are invited to attend and participate in listening sessions in which they share best practices on school facilities and provide input to the U.S. Education Department.

The ‘Education Built to Last’ Facilities Best Practices Tour began in mid-July with visits to several schools in rural Alabama. 

The ED-Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees are recognized for reducing their environmental impact, including energy use, waste and water; creating healthy learning environments and fostering wellness practices; and providing effective environmental education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century, including STEM, green careers and civics.  

A report with highlights on the 78 honorees can be found here.  More information on the federal recognition award can be found here.

 

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