WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today congratulated Classical High School and Nathan Bishop Middle School for being selected among the first winners of the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools recognition.  The national designation recognizes “green” schools that successfully integrate ecological principles and sustainability into school curricula and help foster wellness, energy savings, and environmental education.

“I am pleased that two Rhode Island school are among the first to win this national recognition.  Classical High School and Nathan Bishop Middle School have taken a comprehensive approach to greening their schools.  Their staff, students, and communities have worked together to create healthy, sustainable, and energy-efficient school environments where kids can learn and grow,” said Reed, the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment.

Reed is also the author of legislation designed to strengthen and expand environmental education in America’s classrooms.  The bipartisan No Child Left Inside Act will help bring locally developed, high-quality environmental education programs to more schools nationwide by providing federal assistance to states to develop and implement environmental literacy plans.  The bill would also promote professional development for teachers on how to integrate environmental literacy and field experiences into their instruction and establish competitive grants to help schools partner with colleges and non-profits to expand research-based practices in outdoor education.  Rhode Island is among the first states in the nation to finalize a statewide Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP).  The ELP will advance environmental education in Rhode Island classrooms and help give more students opportunities for hands-on, outdoor learning.

The Green Ribbon Schools program was launched in September of last year.  Each state was allowed to submit up to four nominees. 

Rhode Island’s two winners were among 78 schools nationwide that were selected for the inaugural recognition.

Winning schools are located in 31 states and the District of Columbia and include public, both traditional and charter, and private schools at the elementary, middle, and senior high school levels.