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Two Parkway schools honored for green efforts

By: Bonnie Krueger

Two Parkway schools, McKelvey Elementary and North High, were recognized by the Missouri Environmental Education Association for sustainability, health and learning, as part of the Green Ribbon Schools program. Additionally, both schools were selected as 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. Only three Missouri schools were recognized at the national level.

To be eligible, schools had to complete a 20-page application listing their accomplishments in saving energy and water; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and trash; creating and conserving native habitats; providing nutritious food and outdoor exercise; eliminating hazards like mold, pesticides and bullying; providing high-quality environmental and STEM education; professional development for teachers; and developing leadership skills in addressing community issues in their students. Standards were based on the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program.

McKelvey Elementary has reduced energy use by 20 percent using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Students have taken the lead on cafeteria projects that include color-coding food for healthy choices, free fruit and a video on sorting waste.

North High excels in student-initiated projects. Students advocated for a composting project with the school board, who liked the idea so much they took it district-wide. Student clubs have also competed successfully in Envirothon, a national contest of environmental knowledge, and in the Lexus Eco-Challenge.

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