The U.S. Department of Education announced on Thursday, April 22 that Christ the King Catholic School in Jacksonville is among the 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. They are the only school in the state of Florida, among public and non-public schools, to be named a Green Ribbon School.
Christ the King Catholic School was nominated by the Florida Department of Education for their Pillar I efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs. In addition to considerable energy conservation programs, a student-led initiative to replace old water fountains with new water refill stations resulted in the elimination of over 15,000 disposable plastic water bottles since the beginning of the school year.
Christ the King’s Pillar II initiatives to improve the Health and Wellness of students and staff include extending PE classes, increased counseling services and improvements of nutrition programs including a weekly salad bar in the cafeteria. The school’s Pillar III programs ensure environmental and sustainability education. These include year-long agricultural research for every grade level as well as environmental monitoring for the health of Strawberry Creek, a protected marshland on school property.
“Our school is elated to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Education for our efforts in teaching students how to care for the environment and our community as well as showing love for God’s creation,” said Principal Stephanie Engelhardt.
Across the country, 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five post-secondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
“I am so proud of Christ the King Catholic School as they are recognized by the US Department of Education as a National Green Ribbon School,” said Deacon Scott J. Conway, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools, shared, They are one of the first Catholic Schools in the State of Florida to be recognized as a STREAM-Accreditated school thanks to the expertise and leadership of Mrs. Suzette Gagnon. She is a true educator at heart and has transformed the lives of so many of our students through hands-on learning in the area of STEM education.”
Click here watch a video message from Miguel Cardona congratulating the Green Ribbon Schools on their accomplishments.