DoDEA’s Tarawa Terrace Elementary School (Camp Lejeune, NC) Honored Among 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
On May 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the list of winners for the 2017 Green Ribbon Schools Program. Among the 45 schools selected nationally was one Department of Defense Education Activity(DoDEA) school — Tarawa Terrace Elementary School located at Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
At a ceremony today in Washington, D.C., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Education Director Louisa Koch, Director of the Campaign for Environmental Literacy James L. Elder, and Director of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council Anisa Heming, joined Assistant Secretary of Education Holly Ham to congratulate all of the winners including DoDEA’s Tarawa Terrace Elementary School on their achievements.
At the event, 45 schools and 9 districts were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education. In addition, 9 colleges and universities were honored with the Postsecondary Sustainability Award. Representatives from honored schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions received sustainably crafted plaques in recognition of their achievements. ED-Green Ribbon Schools are nationally recognized as some of America’s most successful educational institutions in reducing their environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness, and providing effective sustainability education.
DoDEA Deputy Director Linda Curtis was on hand to congratulate Tarawa Terrace Elementary School Principal, Leigh Anne Faulkner, who accepted the award on behalf of the school and community.
Tarawa Terrace Elementary School is one of DoDEA’s first Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) pilot schools. The school was able to outfit three technology labs and purchase one of the first mobile computer labs in DoDEA.
With the new footprint came enough space to create a dedicated science lab which is the “STEAM” room, and several outdoor green teaching/learning spaces that provide teachers and students with tools and space for experimentations, creations, and innovations.
Students use microscopes to learn about the smallest units of life and use skeletal models to identify anatomy. Tarawa Terrace Elementary School has grown plants in barrel gardens, raised ducks, chicken, and butterflies. Students of all ages engage in motion experiments and learn physics principles, sometimes with the aid of high school students.
Staff and students formed new extra-curricular clubs including: a green team to work on beautification and conservation; a STEAM team to learn the science behind it all: and a robotics’ team. The school developed a cooperative learning partnership with Lejeune High School, as well as community partnerships with engineering and maintenance battalions and a Base biologist to sustain real-time learning experiences for their students.
The honorees were selected from a pool of nominations made by 28 state education authorities, including 27 states and DoDEA. The list of selectees includes 39 public schools and 6 private schools. The public schools include 1 charter and 5 magnet schools. Forty-four percent of the 2017 honorees serve a majority disadvantaged student body, 14 percent are rural, and a third of post-secondary honorees are community or career and technical colleges.
View the list of all selected schools and districts and summaries of each of the 63 honorees viewed.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.
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