JANUARY 2007 NEWSLETTER
Happy New Year!
Keep those resolutions "green"
We at the Green Schools Initiative wish you a Happy New Year, and offer to help you keep your resolutions to "be green" this year. In this newsletter, we give you tips on how to save forests and switch to recycled paper in the "Issue of the Month" feature. We provide you with news, announcements, and resources for books and training workshops. Please pass on our newsletter to parents, teachers or school officials and help us make our schools healthy, safe, and sustainable!
Please consider making a donation to the Green Schools Initiative to support our work to protect children's health at school by going to our Donate Now page. Thank you for all that you do!
Thank you to Noel Vietor for writing most of this month's E-Newsletter.
FREE WORKSHOP: Designing High Performance Schools
Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) will be providing FREE online and in person workshops on designing a "high performance" school on January 31, February 1 and February 2, 2007. Five separate three-hour seminars will be held over these days and will cover a variety of topics related to the 2006 Edition of the CHPS Best Practices Manual, as well as information related to Proposition 1D funding ($100 million allocated in November for California green schools!).
The mission of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools is to facilitate the design of high performance schools: environments that are not only energy efficient, but also healthy, comfortable, well lit, and containing the amenities needed for a quality education.
Registration is still open, so visit the CHPS website today to sign up:
NEW GREEN READ! Lunch Lessons by Chef Ann Cooper
Chef Ann Cooper is a self-styled “renegade lunch lady” who currently directs the nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, improving meals at 16 public schools with over 9,000 students one day at a time. She’s at the forefront of the movement to reorient the National School Lunch Program toward greater emphasis on regional, organic, fresh foods, and nutritional education to help students build a connection between their health and where their food comes from. On her website, www.lunchlessons.org, Chef Ann publishes a monthly calendar of what Berkeley schools will be serving every day, which reads more like the menu at Chez Panisse and this month features such delectables as a “citrus-jicama stuffed lettuce leaf salad” and “rotini with fresh tomato.” Even plain old Hot Dog Tuesday features the grass-fed variety or veggie dog option swathed in whole grain bun and a side of roasted veggie fries. Yum!
Her newest book, "Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children" (Harper Collins, Sept. 2006), is “overflowing with strategies for parents and school administrators to become engaged with issues around school food - from public policy to corporate interest. It includes successful case studies of school food reform, resources that can help make a difference and healthy, kid-friendly recipes that can be made at home, or by the thousands for a public school cafeteria”, as described on its website.
You can read more about Chef Ann’s mission or buy Lunch Lessons here:
NEWSFLASH: "Greening America's Schools: Costs and Benefits"
This new report sponsored by the US Green Building Council finds that building "green" saves an average school $100,000 each year - enough to hire two new additional full-time teachers! Since spending more for green designs, materials, and technologies over regular ones has long been considered the “price you have to pay” for a healthier environment, this report is ground-breaking in demonstrating that schools designed to be energy efficient, healthy and environmentally friendly are also extraordinarily cost-effective. In fact, the math says that total financial benefits from green schools outweigh the costs 20 to 1. With over $35 billion dollars projected to be spent in 2007 on K-12 construction, it’s time for educators, parents, policymakers and builders across the nation to take a good look at the findings of this report, and consider how easily we can make the switch to greener schools with such clear-cut economic incentives for everyone.
1. School Garden Funding: Applications available January 29, 2007
School Garden funds are available! The California Department of Education has $15 million appropriated for school gardens in public and charter schools. It is offering grants of $2500 and up to $5000 (for schools with more than 1000 students) for garden equipment, supplies and professional development/teacher training. Grants can be spent over three years, until June 2009.
Applications will be available the week of January 29, 2007 and will be due March 26, 2007. Get applications at the California Department of Education's website, www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fo/. Local Educational Agencies (i.e. districts, county offices of education, state board of charter schools) must apply on behalf of all school sites within the LEA. So, you need to get organized NOW! Contact your district or LEA if you are interested.
2. CA Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) and the Emergency Repair Program
The California Office of Public School Construction is launching its new grant program as part of the $800 million Emergency Repair Programto fix health and safety threats at eligible public school facilities in California. Grant application forms are available on OPSC's website (Form SAB 61-03). OPSC is also encouraging grant applicants to consider using environmentally-preferable products and practices for the repairs. You can find out more about EPPs at the Green California website.
Find out if your school is eligible for Emergency Repair Program funds and what you can do about it, if you are in California and believe that your school facilities do not meet a standard of good repair: http://www.greenschools.net/news/BacktoSchoolTips.htm
3. SAVE THE DATE: April 30, 2007 is National Healthy Schools Day!
The theme for National Healthy Schools Day this year is Green Cleaning. Watch our website for news and information about how to help your school switch to green, non-toxic cleaners. Save the date for planning an event or celebration at your school to raise awareness and take actions for healthy, safe, and sustainable schools!