Each year, the Center for Green Schools brings together, in person, a community of school system staff who are the point persons for sustainability in their cities’ or towns’ schools. However, each year, there are faces missing, because our network is full of passionate professionals who don’t have the permission or the funding to travel to professional development or peer networking events. These are often the people who most need to connect with like-minded professionals and get refreshed and energized for the tough work of changing the status quo in their districts.
For the second year in a row, the center is awarding scholarships to a selected group of school district staff to get these professionals the helping hand they need to bring their incredible work to the next level. The scholarships, valued at $20,000 each, support the awardees in travel and attendance at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, travel and attendance at the Green Schools Conference and associated School Sustainability Leaders' Summit, ongoing individual and group coaching and additional customized support.
This year’s awardees are from Detroit, Oakland, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, and just outside St. Louis. In many respects, the professionals that the center will be working with this year are leading the way for other school district staff in sustainability. For example, the Detroit Go Green Challenge uses Americorps-supported staff to work hand in hand with individual schools to reduce landfill waste and energy usage in targeted competitions throughout the year. And Oakland Unified School District has begun guiding other school districts in how they can research legal and safe ways to donate unused food from school lunch programs.
Join us in congratulating all awardees on their selection this year, and say hello when you see them at Greenbuild or the Green Schools Conference. Their work is on the front lines of our movement, and the Center for Green Schools is proud to support each of them.