June 2015 News

In This Issue
Start a NGSS Chapter
NGSS Graduate Reflection
NGSS Student Profile
NGSS Year-End Highlights
Check Out Our Partners
2015 Green Schools National Conference
About NGSS
Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

Interact With Green Schools!


Green Schools Sponsors






Student Partners 




















Join Our Mailing List! 




In May 2015, National Green Schools Society awarded our annual NGSS Graduate Honors to 16 outstanding students in the United States. Hailing from Massachusetts and California, our NGSS Graduates had outstanding applications, amazing environmental projects, and contributed a combined total of 2200 hours of environmental community service during their high school years. BRAVO!









Pictured Left: Jeshua Leah Hernandex of San Pedro High School, CA; Pictured Right: Gabriel Islas, San Pedro High School, San Pedro, CA


Our 2014-2015 NGSS Graduates are:

Algonquin Regional High School, Southborough, MA: Ian Rizzitano,NGSS and Green Schools Co-President


Manchester Essex Regional High School, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

  • Samuel Koufman, NGSS and Green Schools Co-President
  • Justin Eichenberger
  • Christiane Noriega
  • Lauren Coogan
  • Molly Crehan
  • Katie Glidden
  • Abbey Martin
  • Olivia Lantz

Salem High School, Salem, MA

  • Cole Jermyn
  • Samuel Clyne
  • Kyle Doherty

San Pedro High School, San Pedro, CA

  • Marykathryn Stahnke
  • Gabriel Islas
  • Jeshua Leah Hernandez

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School, South Easton, MA: Emily MacDonald


Start a National Green Schools Society chapter for 2015-2016 school year 

Now is the time to sign up for a National Green Schools Society Chapter for your school and students. Complete a NGSS Application TODAY. 

NGSS Graduate Reflection

Pictured: National Green Schools Society graduates from Manchester Essex Regional High School, Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA

Reflection from Samuel Koufman, NGSS Graduate and Green Schools Co-President

"National Green Schools Society is at the forefront of the environmental movement. With an army of passionate educators, knowledgeable students and strong willed community members, NGSS has impacted thousands from across the country. We advocate for more experiential education to offer a more thorough education, a cleaner and healthier environment to protect our future here on earth and stricter policy regulating pollution and consumption. Today as I inched closer to my much anticipated graduation, I felt overcome by nostalgia. 

With my NGSS stole hanging from neck (pictured above center) I reflected on my environmental work. I have worked with government agencies, national organizations, schools and administration, businesses looking to go green, and local governments hoping to integrate green living habits. I have implemented a town wide composting program, worked towards creating an environmental literacy plan, presented on MERSD's Green Scholar program, and of course discussed policy with White House and Environmental Protection Agency officials. I can not express my gratitude for NGSS, Robin and Maureen. My two mentors have taught me more skills I can use in the real world than most of my courses at school. I hope to one day invoke cleaner policy, enable more advocacy programs, and institute more environmental education programs."

NGSS Student Profile

Pictured: Matthew Hornung (green shirt) and supporters and members that helped run a solar campaign.

I was recruited to join the Wellesley Middle School Green Team when I was in the sixth grade. Since then, I have become more involved with different local and state organizations pertaining to sustainability as I have learned more about the benefits of and need for sustainability.


No specific person gets all the credit for inspiring me to become involved in helping the environment; simply spending time outdoors and in the world has made me come to appreciate it. If I had to choose, doing service work and exploring the world with the Boy Scouts has really helped me connect with the environment around me by exposing it to me first hand.


NGSS Year-End Highlights

National Green Schools Society has grown significantly during the 2014-2015 school year. Here are some of our highlights:

  • 168 students in grades 4-12 received NGSS recognition for environmental community service at the Green Difference Awards in Boston, MA in May, 2015.
  • 14 new NGSS chapters joined during the 2014-2015 school year.
  • 16 students graduated with honors from NGSS, including students from Massachusetts and California.
  • 51 Massachusetts high students joined the Massachusetts Green Student Leadership Council, a NGSS youth leadership development program.
  • NGSS student leaders participated in several outstanding programs:
    • Co-presidents Ian Rizzitano and Sam Koufman, and Junior officers Jamison Wrinn and Haley Organ, were invited to take part in the White House Champions of Change Climate Literacy and Education Student Roundtable at the White House in Washington, DC, February 2015.
    • Melissa Cowell, NGSS Communications Officer, sat on the Green Schools National Conference Advisory Board and attended the GSNC in Virginia Beach, VA in March, 2015.

Check Out Our Partners

When you become a National Green Schools Society Chapter you can get started right away with environmental service projects from our outstanding partners. We know that it is common for students and advisors to wonder about where to go for project ideas or they may have a hard time getting the environmental club started during the first few months of the year. To help you get started and keep the momentum going, check out our partner programs and pick one. We have carefully selected these partner programs because they are well supported, easy to implement, and really deliver on environmental impact in schools and communities. At the end of the year, apply for NGSS recognition using the projects and programs from our partners or use your school-based projects! All of these programs are FREE.

Eco-Schools USA
Eco-Schools is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainability principles throughout their schools and curriculum.

Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, NWF's Eco-Schools USA combines effective "green" management of the school grounds, the facilities and the curriculum; truly providing students with a unique, research and application based learning experience. The Eco-Schools program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement. Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.


Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
ACE does two things best. First, it teaches climate science that puts teenagers at the center of the story. The live, in-school assembly is award-winning and proven to work. Second, it gives every student a chance to take action. For some, it's a small lifestyle change. For others, it's hands-on preparation for a lifetime of leadership. The ACE Assembly combines climate science with pop culture entertainment to create an unforgettable experience. Since 2009, ACE has reached nearly two million students.

The Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council (USGBC)

Green Apple Day of Service
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, will take place on Saturday, September 26, 2015, although students and schools can host a Green Apple Day of Service any time throughout the year. The event gives parents, teachers, students, companies and local organizations the opportunity to help transform schools into healthy, safe and productive learning environments through local service projects.

Green Schools Alliance

Green Cup Challenge
The Green Cup Challenge invites all K-12 schools to measure and reduce energy use, improve recycling and waste reduction and promote water conservation. Students, teachers and staff discover they have the power to save energy in their schools, and that their actions can translate into financial savings and positive change for the world. During 2014-2015, 300 participating schools conserved over 1.5 Gigawatts of electricity over four weeks. That's over 2.5 million lbs of CO2 that were kept out of our atmosphere in just one month! The Green Cup Challenge empowers students, raises awareness about climate change and resource conservation, and unites school communities around a common goal. Students, teachers and staff discover they have the power to save energy in their schools, and that their actions can translate into financial savings for their school, and positive change for the world.

Planet Aid
Planet Aid is a nonprofit organization that collects and recycles used clothing and shoes to protect the environment and support sustainable development in impoverished communities around the world. The projects it support improve health, increase income, aid vulnerable children, train teachers, and help strengthen communities and reduce poverty. Planet Aid's local offices work with schools, youth groups, and community organizations to raise environmental awareness and inspire participants help make a difference in the world. Thousands of schools and other organizations across the United States already host a bright yellow Planet Aid recycling bin, which not only makes it easy to reduce waste but also serves as a humble reminder of the good that can be done in the world. 


Green Student Leaders at the 2015 Green Schools National Conference!

Pictured: Green Student Leaders at the 2015 Green Schools National Conference! 


Green Schools was honored to attendlead, and participate in the 2015 National Green Schools Conference in Virginia Beach this past March.  Students led national conversations, served on the Green Schools National Advisory Board, and convened with thought-leaders from business, government, education, organizations, and community groups.. 


 Read a student reflection by Melissa Cowell, Grade 11, Ursuline Academy, National Green Schools Society Student Officer, Green Schools National Network Student Advisory Board


Special thanks to our sponsor PlanetAid 

About National Green Schools Society

National Green Schools Society (NGSS) provides a k-12 student recognition and awards program for environmentally focused students who are creating extraordinary impact in schools, organizations, and communities. Many of our students join NGSS to receive recognition for environmental service projects, environmental activism and leadership, environmental STEM projects (E-STEM), school projects that focus on the environment, and group projects. NGSS often is the catalyst to start or restart an environmental club in a school, and it serves as a continual motivator for students and advisors to maintain the club each year. This year we worked with students in public, private, charter, and home school.


For 2014-2015 school year, we recognized an array of student projects that include:

  • Environmental service project building trails in the Puerto Rico rainforest
  • Recycled art and ocean project
  • Elementary education program created and delivered by high school students
  • School garden programs and outdoor classrooms
  • Student-led divestment from fossil fuels activism on a state-wide level
  • Student leadership working with a town sustainability committee
  • Science experiments looking at global warming and ocean acidification impacts

Superintendents, administrators, and teachers say that NGSS is a no-brainer - it helps them to recognize environmentally focused students and highlight their achievements.


Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

 The Karma for Cara Foundation is encouraging kids 18 and under to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities. Whether it is turning a vacant lot into a community garden, rebuilding a school playground or helping senior citizens get their homes ready for winter, they want to hear what project you're passionate about. Learn More

VolunTEEN Nation International Service Project Grants - Dealine: Rolling 

Students (ages 13-22) from the United States going abroad to volunteer or study in a developing country are encouraged to apply for an international service-learning mini-grant from VolunTEEN Nation. Grants are for up to $300 to create a service project in a developing country while you are visiting that country. Learn More


Robin Organ

Founder and Executive Director

Green Schools