Photo / Washington Green Schools
More than one million young people attend K-12 schools across Washington state, and these institutions have the opportunity to be centers for change in our communities. That’s why Washington Green Schools aims to help every child attend a green and healthy school that teaches, models, and practices environmental sustainability.
They serve schools across the state, and you can learn more about the work they’re doing with educators at Seattle and Everett Public Schools.
This past spring, the Environment Grant Committee selected Washington Green Schools as our next SVP Investee, awarding an initial grant of $30,000 and the intention of a multi-year relationship that includes volunteer and paid consulting services.
The grant committee was impressed by the organization’s commitment to promoting environmental stewardship among young people, their strong track record of program success and the opportunities for expansion.
“Washington Green Schools has had a huge impact in a short amount of time,” explains SVP Partner Carey Smith, a committee member. “There is great leverage in their model that targets youth who then educate their parents, their neighbors and in some cases school administrators about sustainability.”
Washington Green Schools provides free environmental education curricula, program guidance, educator training, and classroom resources, which culminates in collaborative projects that tackle environmental problems in our school communities.
Their flagship Green School Certification program provides a strategy and system for schools to implement student-led sustainability projects on campus. Using this system, schools track their progress as they foster environmental leadership in students, conserve resources, and create a more sustainable and healthy school environment. Participating schools form “Green Teams” made up of students, teachers, administrators and faculty to research, implement and evaluate environmental action projects focused on energy, water, waste and recycling, transportation, school grounds, and the school building. The projects engage students in problem-solving and critical thinking and shape their core classroom experience.
Certified schools and districts often conserve resources and save money – sometimes as much as $100,000 – that can be re-invested to meet the needs of students.
Last year alone, the organization served 74 schools and 42,000 students across 10 counties. As an SVP Investee, Washington Green Schools aims to more than double their reach, guided by an organizational commitment to racial equity.
“Washington Green Schools envisions that every student will attend a green and healthy school,” says Executive Director Meredith Lohr. “Partnering with SVP to build our organizational foundation will allow us to support more schools across the state to be leaders for the environment. We’re so excited for this opportunity to take our work to the next level!”
You can learn more about Washington Green Schools on their website. If you are interested in volunteering with them, contact Ben Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.