Communities Across the Globe Join USGBC’s Green Apple Day of Service
The third annual Green Apple Day of Service, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, brought together hundreds of thousands of volunteers participating in 3,760 service projects in all 50 states and in 42 countries throughout the world. An initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Day of Service brings together students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations and companies to transform their schools into healthy, safe, cost-efficient and productive learning places.
This year’s Day of Service featured a flagship event in Washington, D.C. where U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his family joined volunteers at Tubman Elementary School for gardening and painting projects and several sustainability education activities for students and their families.
"At the Center for Green Schools, we’re continually inspired by the dedication of local communities and volunteers to improve the places where our children learn,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “On this third annual Green Apple Day of Service, we couldn’t be more humbled by the sheer volume of activity to transform our schools and communities. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the globe are sending a clear message that where we learn matters. To each and every one of these dedicated individuals we say, thank you.”
Cities and towns across the country and around the world were active in the Day of Service events: In Chicago, volunteers convened at John M. Smyth Magnet and IB World School to make improvements at the school including the building of new garden boxes, weeding in existing gardens and creating a restorative space in the school for students.
Students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Atlanta updated the community garden, participated in a school-wide clean up and recycling initiative, launched an environmental awareness program and encouraged student-led “trash-to-treasure” recycling projects. To commemorate this effort, the school also created a mural representing the Cristo Rey motto to promote environmental sustainability.
In New Orleans, the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development is renovating a 130-year-old barge board house into an environmental education and visitor center. The site will give visitors the ability to peek into the construction and see the types of energy efficiency upgrades that have been made to the house, serving as a model of energy efficiency and as a neighborhood hub in the Lower 9th Ward community.
At the Instituto Thomas Jefferson, thousands of students across all five Mexico City and Guadalajara campuses made personal commitments to sustainability at their school, taking action on school-wide campaigns in support of recycling, habitat restoration, water conservation and more.
Many of today’s schools are beset by a host of challenges that compromise our children’s health and wellness, causing everything from asthma to headaches and concentration issues. Green Apple is a global movement to put all children in schools where they have clean and healthy air to breathe, where energy and resources are conserved, and where they can be inspired to dream of a brighter future.
The Green Apple Day of Service presents an opportunity for students, teachers, parents, elected officials, organizations, companies and more to take action in their communities and demonstrate that where we learn matters. For more information visit mygreenapple.org.
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