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Model Environmental Education Schools

What is an EE School?

We invite you to include your school in our directory if your school has programming or features that support environmental education. Does your school have outdoor classroom features such as a school garden, a nature trail, or composting bins? Does your school have a recycling program, an energy or water conservation plan, or a green building design? Do you take field trips to environmental education centers, have an environmental club or host special events such as Earth Day or Walk to School Day? If you answered yes to any of these questions or have another story to tell about how your school shows a comittment to environmental education, then please add your school to our EE School Directory. Below is more information about our EE Schools and other state and national recognition programs for schools.

We also have an online list of nature play and learning places in North Carolina.

EE Schools, Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs

If your school has programming or features that support environmental education or education for sustainability, and meets the following criteria, please add your school to our EE School Directory:

  1. Includes any grade levels from Pre K – 12
  2. Agrees to serve as a model for other schools by responding to inquiries, scheduling tours or observations of EE programs and/or facilities as possible, sharing resources as possible etc.
  3. Presents fair and accurate information
  4. Uses constructive techniques to empower learners to draw and act on their own conclusions
  5. Provides educational resources that contain concepts, language, and activities that are developmentally appropriate for the intended audience

NC Green Schools 

The NC Green Schools program recognizes North Carolina PK-12 schools that demonstrate holistic sustainability efforts throughout the school community. Public, private, and charter schools with robust environmental education programs, civic engagement, and sustainability initiatives are encouraged to apply to be a NC Green School of Promise, Quality, or Excellence. The NC Green Schools Rubric offers a comprehensive guide for schools to assess and measure their impact of greening their campuses and curricula. Applications are due in the spring each year. Qualifying schools receive recognition and are awarded a NC Green Schools Seal of Accomplishment. NC Green Schools is a program of the Center for the Environment at Catawba College and affirms the mission statement of the Department of Public Instruction of North Carolina, working to support and enhance those goals through sustainability initiatives.

UTOTES, Resources from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

Using The Outdoors to Teach Experiential Science is an exciting elementary teacher education project that demonstrates techniques for using school grounds as educational resources for hands-on learning. Check out the Museum's Workshops at your School for this and other opportunities to help you in becoming an EE School.

Green Ribbon Schools, U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates STEM, civic skills and green career pathways. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about practices that are proven to result in improved student engagement, higher academic achievement and graduation rates, and workforce preparedness, as well as a government wide goal of increasing energy independence and economic security.