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3 NC schools win US Green Ribbon awards for their environmental efforts

Workers assemble scaffolding at the site of Abbotts Creek Elementary School on Durant Road in Raleigh in this file photo. Abbotts Creek received a 2019 Green Ribbon Award for its environmental efforts.
Workers assemble scaffolding at the site of Abbotts Creek Elementary School on Durant Road in Raleigh in this file photo. Abbotts Creek received a 2019 Green Ribbon Award for its environmental efforts. cliddy@newsobserver.com

Three North Carolina schools, including one in Wake County and one in Durham, received Green Ribbon School awards Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Education for their environmental conservation efforts.

Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, Immaculata Catholic School in Durham and Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville are among 35 schools nationally who were honored for “reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness and ensuring effective sustainability education.”

“These three schools are showing students how to be good stewards of the environment, how to be good citizens and to understand the importance of health and fitness,” State Superintendent Mark Johnson said in a news release. “They’re good role models for other schools to follow.”

Abbotts Creek Elementary is located on part of the former North Wake Landfill. The school’s science curriculum has an environmental literacy focus, with all 800 students keeping a science notebook they use to collect data on various science projects.

Other efforts include getting the campus certified as a National Wildlife Federation habitat and reducing food and paper waste

“This award symbolizes the dedication and ingenuity of the Abbotts Creek students, staff and families in supporting sustainability efforts and environmental literacy,” Paula Trantham, principal of Abbotts Creek, said in a news release. “ Krista Brinchek, our science specialist, has put an amazing amount of effort into teaching our students about environmental issues and sustainability education.”

At Immaculata Catholic, the U.S. Department of Education noted how stewardship is a major theme at the school. The school’s Environmental Club is also active with recycling efforts, litter cleanup, beautification projects and bicycle repair for other community children.

More information about the winning schools can be found at https://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html.

T. Keung Hui has covered K-12 education for the News & Observer since 1999, helping parents, students, school employees and the community understand the vital role education plays in North Carolina. His primary focus is Wake County, but he also covers statewide education issues.
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