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D.C. Recipient of "Best of Green Schools" Award

WI Web Staff Report | 12/13/2011, 1:47 p.m.

From Kiara Pesante, communications director for Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh

The U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools named the Council of the District of Columbia the Best Policy Makers of 2011 on its inaugural "Best of Green Schools" list released Dec. 13. The Council was chosen for the passage of the Healthy Schools Act of 2010, authored by Councilmember Mary M. Cheh. The award highlights school administrators and government leaders in 10 categories for efforts to create sustainable learning environments.

"The Healthy Schools Act is one of the most important laws that I have had the privilege to work on during my time on the Council," said Councilmember Cheh. "The District certainly deserves recognition for this landmark legislation, because when a child is in our care, we are responsible for the whole child: their environment, what they are eating, and what they are learning. The Healthy Schools Act ensures that our children are learning in the best buildings, eating the best food we can serve, and getting some exercise while doing so."

"Best of Green Schools" recipient schools and regions from across the nation - from K-12 to higher education - were recognized for a variety of sustainable, cost-cutting measures, including energy conservation, record numbers of LEED certified buildings and collaborative platforms and policies to green U.S. school infrastructure. D.C.'s commitment to measurable and innovative sustainable building goals serves as a model for schools and campuses everywhere.

In May 2010, the D.C. Council unanimously passed the Healthy Schools Act of 2010. 2011 updates to the bill included participation in the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools program, making D.C. the first "state" to sign up for the voluntary federal program. This past August, American University's School of Education, Training, and Health offered a course entitled "Foundations of a Healthy School," focusing solely on the Healthy Schools Act. In September, Councilmember Cheh was awarded the Leadership For Healthy Communities Award for the law's efforts to confront childhood obesity in the District.

For more information on each of this year's "Best of Green Schools" recipients, please visit centerforgreenschools.org/bestof2011.