December 2015 News

In This Issue
Avalon Theisen's Journey to COP21
Igniting Innovation Summit
Student Co-Presidents at Igniting Innovation Summit
Green Schools Student Co-President Attends MA STEM Conference
Senate Passes New Every Student Succeeds Act..
Apply for the EarthEcho International Youth Leadership Council.
Early Bird Registration Open.
Engage Your Fellow Students
Check Out Our Partners
Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

Interact With Green Schools!


Green Schools Sponsors





























Join Our Mailing List! 




YOU helped Cut the Red Tape! YOU were part of history and YOUR voice was heard!  

Our report from COP21. 

On December 3, 2015 - Cut the RED Tape Project hosted a Side event at COP21 called The School, Student & Parent Call to Climate Action as part of their year culmination campaign in life of the climate talks in Paris. The project presented schools commitments from 14 different countries that signed the School's Act On Climate Declaration demonstrating their collective effort and commitment to do their part to face the biggest threat for future generations thanks to the support of Green Schools in the United States and the Global Issues network in South America.

On December 4, 2015 - Cut the RED Tape project participated in the GIN Paris School Conference at Marymount School of France where schools from different parts of the world including the Green School of Bali gathered for two days to discuss global solutions to our most pressing environmental problems with distinguished keynotes including Conspiracy director, Kip Anderson and No Planeta B Director, Yoca Arditi-Rocha, among many others.  Students leaders from around the world like Avalon Theisen from Conserve it Forward  where present and supported the Call of Action to COP21 Leaders.

And because we have been raising our voice for the past year, on December 12, 2015 world leaders finally listened. 196+ countries signed the Paris Agreement sending a clear and loud message that the transition to a clean base economy is here to stay!  Like the landing on the Moon, this is another Giant Leap for humanity.  
Many years from now, all of us will be able to say to our children's children we were part of history, that we called on leaders to Cut the Red Tape.... and our voice was indeed heard in Paris. (Read Full Report) 

Thank you again for your support.  We couldn't have done it without you!

With much gratitude,
Yoca, Robin & the Cut The RED Tape Team!
Green Schools Youth Council Delegate Avalon Theisen's Journey to COP 21
"I arrived in Paris on a cold, winter day. A nervous excitement bubbled in me, as I stared into the clouds, which hid the sun. Signs advertising COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference. dotted the landscape, from the tall buildings near the airport, to the city signs on the Champs-Élysées. With only an hour's sleep the night before, I was exhausted, and was powered only by my imminent anticipation.

Once we arrived in Paris, I had only enough time for a short rest and snack before leaving for the first event. We headed to the Cité des sciences et de l'industrie for the Youth for Climate event, which was organized by the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). Coincidentally, a year ago I had sat on the first ever youth panel at the ASTC Annual Conference." 

Green Schools Executive Director Robin Organ Presents at Harvard University's Igniting Innovation Summit

The Igniting Innovation Summit unites students, academics, and leaders in the field who are passionate about developing innovative solutions to today's most pressing problems. The 6th annual Summit explored wide-ranging themes through TED-style talks, practical skill-development workshops, and an Innovation Showcase.

Green Schools Student Co-Presidents Reflect on Attending Harvard University's Igniting Innovation Summit
Green Schools Co-Presidents Melissa Cowell and Ehasanuzzaman Satu, along with other Green Schools students,and Executive Director Robin Organ attended the 6th Annual Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard University on November 14, 2015.

Satu and Melissa reflect on and share their experiences with us. 
"Attending the 6th Annual Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard was a great pleasure and contentment for me. I, along with two of my NGSS colleagues, attended the "Bowling Again": Innovations for Community Revitalization panel in the first session. There we learned from 5 panelists that presented about their amazing innovative startups and the ways they reach out to communities to get them more active and to help innovate more as a whole for the greater good." Read more from Satu

"On November 14th, I, along with some other students, had the opportunity to attend the Igniting Innovation Summit at Harvard University. This summit united students, educators, and leaders in their field who are extremely passionate and care a large amount about pressing problems in the world today. The Summit attracted many young entrepreneurs from across the globe who have dedicated time and effort into issues that one individual person can make an impact toward the solution." Read more from Melissa 
Green Schools Student Co-President Attends MA STEM Conference
Green Schools Student Co-President Ehasanuzzaman Satu attended the MA STEM Conference along with Green Schools Executive Director Robin Organ and Green Schools Director of Students & Schools Hannah Traggis. 

A report on the conference from Satu:

"The MA STEM conference was nothing but exuberant and impressive. I walked in with a big smile on my face and I walked out with one too. It took place at the DCU center, an enormous building in the middle of Worcester-- "The heart of the Commonwealth." 

For most of the conference I was tabling; presenting on the Green Schools and spreading our ideas on how we as an organization plan on helping each other lead towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future through students and educators. Although I was tabling, it wasn't just me talking and presenting, it was also me listening and networking. Since this conference took place on school day, all the people I spoke to were teachers and professors from colleges looking to learn more and explore ideas on how to entice their students' minds.

After tabling, I headed up with Hannah (the Director of Students and Schools) and Robin (The Executive Director) into a room where we gave a panel discussion about NGSS. Presenting for the first time to a room full of adults I talked about my first couple of months of working with my student colleagues. I also talked about how other schools could help enrich the earth by bringing Green Schools to their cities and communities in order to create pathways to more environmentally literate students."
Senate Passes New Every Student Succeeds Act
As the year comes to a close we are very excited to have the Senate pass the new Every Student Succeeds Act, replacing No Child Left Behind and for the first time, adding in language that supports environmental education and hands-on, field-based learning experiences.  Read Full Press Release

Apply for the EarthEcho International Youth Leadership Council
EarthEcho International invites young environmental leaders ages 15-22 to apply for the inaugural EarthEcho International Youth Leadership Council! This exciting program will give up to 15 young people the unique opportunity to provide valuable insight and expertise from a youth perspective to the development of EarthEcho International's programs, lead initiatives to engage young people in conservation work in their communities, and develop programs to help support EarthEcho's mission of inspiring young people worldwide to act now for a sustainable future! Through this role, Youth Leadership Council members will have the opportunity to serve in an advisory capacity and gain an understanding of the operations of an international non-profit organization, help expand the impact of EarthEcho's programs, interact with leaders in the fields of conservation, education, and service-learning, and gain access to experts and resources to explore personal conservation interests. Applications for this program are due December 31, 2015.Click for more details and applications.

Questions? Contact Sean Russell 
Early Bird Registration Open

The Green Schools Conference & Expo (GSCE) brings together green schools thought leaders and champions, connecting educators, school administrators, nonprofit and corporate partners, and elected officials to advance the shared mission of green schools for all within this generation.

Early Bird Registration is open until January 29, 2016.
Nature's Voices Project 3rd Annual Student Stories Contest for 6th-12th Graders
The Nature's Voices Project and Green Schools Alliance are excited to announce the 3rd Annual Student Stories Contest! Students grades 6-12 can win a cash prize and paid trip to share their story as a keynote speaker at the Green Schools Conference and Expo March 31-April 1. We are looking for inspiring stories about how Green Schools and environmental education experiences transform young people's learning and lives.  Stories may also be published on our website. Read Anna-Belle's winning story from the 2015 conference here.

Contest Deadline: December 20, 2015 Learn More 

World of 7 Billion Video Contest

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your middle and high school classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either Deforestation, Public Health, or Water Scarcity. Students can win up to $1,000 and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 25, 2016. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at .

Students between the ages of 13 and 21 are invited to participate in the national Young Reporters for the Environment competition. The competition asks students to investigate an environmental issue and report on it choosing one of three different media types: writing, photography or video.  Submission deadline: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 Learn More
 Start a National Green Schools Society Chapter TODAY!
Now is the time to sign up for a National Green Schools Society Chapter for your school and students. Complete a NGSS Application TODAY. 
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.
Engage Your Fellow Students!
Ask your fellow students to join the NGSS Chapter! Put up this flyer around your school with information on your chapter or team's next meeting. 
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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 


Click to learn more about each partner 

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