The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 is among the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardees, according to a press release.

USD 383 was nominated by the Kansas State Department of Education and the Kansas Association for Conversation and Environmental Education. Examples of some of the sustainability efforts USD 383 has initiated:

  • Reducing environmental footprint, impact and costs
  • Improving health & wellness to reduce chronic absenteeism and improve wellness for students, staff and stakeholders
  • Providing effective environmental and sustainability education to highlight integrated and culturally-inclusive STREAM connections in classroom and community opportunities
  • School-wide recycling
  • Waste audits
  • FIRST Lego League Trash Trek Robotics Curriculum
  • Makerspaces & Repurposing and Recycling Education Space
  • GO Green Champions and Leadership Teams

“We are honored to receive the Green Ribbon recognition as USD 383 strives to accomplish our long-standing vision to successfully educate each student to be a contributing citizen in a changing, diverse society by championing responsible and ethical decision making to highlight long-term zero waste goals,” said Dr. Lucas Shivers, Director of Elementary Education for the district. “We provide students with future-ready environmental and sustainability lessons at each grade level to prepare for our changing world and build hubs in the community for best practices to be shared as a world-class school district.”

“Receiving this award is a great acknowledgement for our efforts thus far,” said Country Smith, Marlatt Elementary School Art Teacher. “However, this is only the beginning; there is still room for green growth in our district!  None of this would have been possible without the community’s support and partnerships, especially Rachel Wahle and K.A.C.E.E., they help make USD 383 great.  We are proud to lead the way to more green schools in Kansas.”

Noah Busch, a 9th grade science teacher for USD 383, said it’s important for students to be good stewards.

“There are few lessons that are more important than taking care of the place where you live,” he said. “In USD 383, based on the efforts of several district and building leaders, teachers, and staff members, we are just beginning this journey towards environmental literacy at all levels, in all buildings. The really amazing part of this experience is that I feel like we have so much room to continue to grow. The amount of great ideas, opportunities, and support in this community is astounding.”

Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions are being honored 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 25 states and the Department of Defense Department of Education Activity. The selectees include 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

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