The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) will honor the 133 schools that have successfully fulfilled the requirements of the Maryland Green Schools Program at the MAEOE Green Schools Youth Summit on May 30, 2014 at beautiful Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis. The Youth Summit presents students and teachers with an opportunity to be recognized for their leadership in enacting significant change in their communities, while the Summit’s interactive sessions provide a platform for them to build upon the skills and knowledge that they have already acquired during the Maryland Green Schools certification process.
The Summit will feature an awards ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the schools that were certified or recertified as Maryland Green Schools in 2014, as well as an “Environmental Literacy Fair” that will offer students and teachers an opportunity to connect with organizations who can provide resources to draw from as they continue their work towards lessoning the environmental impact of their school’s buildings and grounds and developing environmental literacy throughout the student body. Representatives from the Alliance to Save Energy and Lockheed Martin will lead a Youth Leadership Forum that will feature a Green Careers discussion as well as sessions on environmental advocacy and policy. Over 3,000 students and teachers were in attendance last year. Governor Martin O’Malley has been invited and will be speaking at 12:30 should he attend. Check out the Governor’s speech at last year’s summit!
The Maryland Green Schools Program (MDGS), an award winning program founded in 1999, is designed to foster a student led approach to authentic learning and plays a key role in helping schools meet the Maryland State Department of Education’s environmental literacy standards established through the Governor’s Partnership for Children in Nature. The program is a method of improving environmental literacy for students and a tool for catalyzing change within the community as envisioned in the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights.
This year, MAEOE has certified 57 schools for the first time and has retained 76 schools through the program’s recertification process, bringing the total number of schools in the Maryland Green Schools Program to 460. This substantial growth in the program illustrates a persistent commitment to sustainability and environmental literacy in Maryland Schools. These schools have demonstrated and documented a continuous effort to integrate sustainable best management practices, environmental education curriculum, professional development opportunities, and community engagement into their daily operations.
Schools that were accepted into this year’s program combined to recycle over 1.2 million pounds of paper and 305,000 pounds of aluminum cans and glass bottles. Additionally, 69 schools conducted energy audits to identify ways in which they could reduce their energy consumption, among other projects. For a full listing of Maryland Green Schools and more statistics from this year’s Maryland Green Schools Program, please visit MAEOE.org.