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Elementary school awarded "Green & Healthy School" honors from Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and Gwinnett Public School System.
Norcross' Susan O. Stripling Elementary recently earned top county honors as a 2012 "Green & Healthy School." The award recognizes schools, administrators, and teachers who implement The Green & Healthy School Program, a joint initiative of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and the Gwinnett Public School System (GPSC). The program provides a guide for planning, executing, and assessing the effectiveness of environmental lessons, activities, standards, and school programs. Out of the 81 Gwinnett County schools that participated in the 2011 - 2012 school year program, Stripling was named a "Top Level" participant.
The Green & Healthy School Program provides educational tool kits that give teachers the resources to teach kids about Water Pollution, Waste Reduction and Recycling; one of the most popular is the Georgia Habitat kit. Using these real-world topics, kids not only learn the concepts of conservation, but also reading and science lessons that relate.
According to Stripling prinicipal Priscilla McHam, this is a dynamic program that gives teachers relevant teaching tools. "Kids are engaged in learning practical things that they can relate to in the real world, and they learn to be accountable for creating and maintaining a clean and healthy school environment. It's an achievement the whole school worked together to earn," she said.
In addition, Ms. McHam credited the efforts of her staff. "It's a joy to have such innovative and talented teachers in our building, taking lead in teaching our kids to take care of our planet. This honor is the result of Merle Soodyall and Alison Doherty's leadership with our recycled crayons, and organic gardening clubs."
Mayor Bucky Johnson, who is a member of the Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Board, confirmed that 81 out of 123 public schools in Gwinnett participated in this program and of those, only 47 were awarded this top level recognition. "There is an incredible amount of positive energy and creativity at Stripling, and I applaud Ms. McHam's leadership and her school's accomplishment," said Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. "In fact, I am constantly impressed by how the administrators and teachers in all of our Norcross schools really care about teaching and empowering their students. Helping kids realize the importance of conservation is critical to keeping Gwinnett communities healthy in the future, too."
In 2011, the City of Norcross was presented the Gold Level achievement award by the Atlanta Regional Commission for its efforts to implement and maintain environment-friendly practices. Norcross is one of only 3 government entities to have earned this level of achievement in the Atlanta region.
Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is the largest school system in Georgia and estimated to be the 14th largest school district in the U.S. The district was the winner of the 2010 Broad Prize for Urban Education. For more information about the Green & Healthy School Program, please visit www.gwinnettcb.org and look under the heading "Get Educated." # # #