Today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the first winners of the Green School Award, which recognizes schools that promote healthy school environments and offer quality environmental education to students.

State education agencies, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education submitted 100 nominees from a pool of over 350 schools that completed applications. ED selected 78 winners—66 public schools, including 8 charters, and 12 private schools. About half represent high-poverty schools, according to ED.

The Green Ribbon award is a one year recognition. Next year's competition will open in summer 2012.

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