Carnation Elementary Earns U.S. National Green Ribbon Award
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Education, local elected officials, and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction among those in attendance.
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On Monday, October 28, 2019, Carnation Elementary third-grade teacher Elizabeth Wing, accompanied by approximately 20 enthusiastic members of the school's Environmental Club, led nearly two dozen visitors on a campus tour to celebrate and commemorate receiving the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School Award. In 2018, Carnation Elementary was one of only four schools in the United States to earn this prestigious honor.
The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program celebrates schools and districts making significant progress towards:
- Reducing environmental impact and costs.
- Improving the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff.
- Providing effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating STEM, civic skills, and green career pathways.
The visitors comprised a mix of Riverview educators, administrators and staff members, local elected officials, parents and community leaders, guests from other districts in the region, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
In recognizing Carnation Elementary, the Department of Education noted that, "students have been involved in tree plantings, river exploration, and restoration, forest trail studies, ecological presentations at the local farmers market, in addition to the releasing of salmon into local streams. Through citizen science programs, like the Great Backyard Bird Count, students participate in field studies and record their data. All storm drains at Carnation Elementary are stenciled with 'Salmon to Sound' markings to remind students, staff, and parents to be careful of what goes into the school runoff. Additionally, the (school's) recycling rate is above 60 percent. With food recycling programs currently underway, this rate is expected to climb even higher."
The Department of Education also noted the school's student-led environmental club, which organizes and manages a program that collects food scraps from their school cafeteria, maintains a school-wide campaign encouraging students and families to purchase environmentally-safe tote bags and reusable water bottles. The club, student-led and created in 2016, collaborated on a grant that brought water bottle filling stations to the campus. This led to a district-wide rollout of similar filling stations in Riverview schools,
"Carnation’s recognition reaches beyond school water, energy and waste conservation and reduction," shared Wing. "Every staff member played a vital role in creating our healthy green school."
In a letter sent to Mrs. Wing and Carnation Elementary principal Chris Lupo, Washington Governor Jay Inslee applauded the school, the students, and Mrs. Wing's leadership efforts.
"The students at Carnation Elementary are developing a sense of stewardship over their environment while learning to be creative and culturally competent critical thinkers, collaborators, and communicators, skills that will last a lifetime." The Governor added: "Thank you...for teaching the students that they can make a difference, and for involving the entire community in your efforts."
The Riverview School District congratulates Carnation Elementary, Elizabeth Wing, the kids who have proudly served in the Carnation Elementary Environmental Club, and everyone who had a hand along the way in making this school an innovative, national model of education excellence.