U.S. Secretary of Education names junior llementary a 2019 Green Ribbon School

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The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Junior Elementary School (JES) in Barbour County is among the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees.

Junior Elementary was nominated for this award by the West Virginia Department of Education for its innovative practices surrounding health and wellness, environmental impact and sustainability education.

Each class at JES plans an annual field trip, where students enjoy the beauty and scope of their home state, with each child experiencing at least six West Virginia adventures before moving on to middle school.

The school also participates in an Adopt-A-Highway project each spring and students take a leadership role in collecting and disposing properly of trash and litter along the roadway between the river and the school.

Students participate in “brain breaks” to keep their focus during classroom instruction. Teachers have started a “Daily Mile,” pausing classroom instruction for 12 minutes to take students away from their seats to refresh so they return to instruction more focused and ready to learn.

In January of this year, Junior Elementary was awarded a West Virginia Sustainable Schools grant that facilitated the purchase of a class set of mountain bikes, two staff bikes, and tricycles. The bikes are used for brain breaks, recess and physical education classes. Families can check the bikes out after school to ride with their children.

“We are so proud of the students, teachers and administration at Junior Elementary School for achieving this national honor,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine. “Junior Elementary is a leader in sustainability education and can serve as a model for other West Virginia schools.”

Across the country, 35 schools, 14 districts, and four postsecondary institutions are being honored as Green Ribbon Schools for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 28 states. The selectees include 25 public schools, including three magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as 10 nonpublic schools. Thirty-six percent of the 2019 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

The list of all selected schools, districts, colleges, and universities, as well as their nomination packages, can be found here. A report with highlights on the 53 honorees can be found here. More information on the federal recognition award can be found here. Resources for all schools to move toward the three Pillars can be found here.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.

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