Longfellow Elementary School Among Four Finalist For Federal Green Ribbon Award

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Longfellow Elementary School, one of Long Beach’s largest elementary schools, has just been named one of four California finalist nominees for the new federal Green Ribbon Award, a federal program that recognizes schools for reducing environmental impact on their communities, promoting healthy school environments for their own students and staff, and offering high-quality environmental education. The nominations have been submitted to the federal Department of Education and award winners will be announced on Earth Day, 2012.

The other nominees are:

  • Environmental Charter High School, Lawndale, CA
  • The Athenian School (a private school), Danville, CA
  • Grand View Elementary School, Manhattan Beach, CA

Longfellow Elementary, a large public school with over 1,000 students and a very diverse student population, is very proud of its “green” accomplishments. Over the past two years, through its lunchtime and classroom recycling programs and other efforts, Longfellow has diverted over 100,000 pounds of would-be trash from the landfill. Long Beach’s Environmental Services Bureau has been instrumental in the achievement of Longfellow’s high waste diversion rate. In addition to recycling, Longfellow Green Team volunteers deliver unused cold foods and milk to Food Finders, a local food bank distributor, on a daily basis; students participate in a “Walk to School Wednesday” program; volunteers hold a monthly Uniform Swap; and the school has a new Junior Green Team of 4th and 5th Graders.

On top of its daily “green” activities, Longfellow, along with all LBUSD schools, earned Energy Star Certification in late 2011, due to concerted efforts at the district level to conserve energy and save money. This, along with the district’s participation in SHAPE California, a nutrition education program, and the district’s Styrofoam recycling program, are ways in which all Long Beach Unified schools are working toward healthier school environments.

Longfellow teachers promote health and wellness through an expanded outdoor Physical Education program, and by taking students on a myriad of fieldtrips which foster outdoor learning and environmental awareness.

The school has a courtyard garden/outdoor science lab, which features California native plants, fruit trees, raised vegetable beds and an area for composting and vermicomposting. An indoor science classroom provides an additional resource for hands on learning and discovery.

Longfellow’s nomination as a finalist in the Green Ribbon Award provides an example of how any school can “go green” with the effort, collaboration and support of administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students.


One Response to “Longfellow Elementary School Among Four Finalist For Federal Green Ribbon Award”
  1. Jenny Cazares says:

    Just an FYI, another local school that deserves recognition by trying to help make a difference in our environment is Los Cerritos Elementary School. They also recycle as much as possible. They have monthly recycling contests among grade levels where students are encouraged to bring recyclables from home to benefit the school with the money earned. They also practice “walk to school Wednesday” as well as “bike friendly Friday”. They also have “trash-less Tuesday” where the students that bring a lunch try to do so by using re-useable containers and items that don’t need to be disposed of in the garbage.
    They also have an amazing school garden on campus, and urban farm.
    I’m sure there are many other schools in our community tryin to make a difference. Why not give them some recognition too?