March 2016 News

In This Issue
4th Annual MA Water Forum
Green Schools Attends Congressional Roundtable
NGSS Chapter Spotlight
Student Spotlight
VT SWEEP Conference
CHPS Training
The Green Schools Conference & Expo
Apply for Sc3
Engage Your Fellow Students
Check Out Our Partners
Grant and Scholarship Opportunities

Interact With Green Schools!


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 A few reminders for our Chapter members:

1) Don't forget to have an induction ceremony for new students. This can happen in the fall, spring or you can have rolling inductions if need be.  Student fees can be collected at this time.

2) Don't forget to keep track of your student service hours, especially those on the graduating track so  you can receive Green Schools recognition.

3) Now you can RENEW your NGSS Chapter online for the 2016-2017 school year!

4) If you have not already, Like and POST your ongoing work to Greenstudents Connect Facebook page. You could be featured in our next newsletter!

5) Don't forget to check out our Partner Page for more ideas for service projects and events for your school. Reminder that NGSS Partner page which contains contacts for our Partners is password protected. If you need a password reminder please send us an email

6) Our Chapter Profile Page is LIVE! We will have an ongoing collection of Chapter Profiles and Student Profiles so continue to send in your amazing work!

4th Annual Massachusetts Water Forum Youth Summit

March 22, 2016
BSA Space
209 Congress Street
Boston, MA

This event is held in honor of the UN's World Water Day and will bring together 60 high school students from across the Commonwealth to look at water issues that our state must address.  Green Schools is the key organizer for the youth summit. Experts from the Boston Water & Sewer Commission, Charles River Watershed Association and more will help lead the Youth Summit.  Students will have the opportunity to meet high level officials and make a presentation to the attendees of the 4th Annual Massachusetts Water Forum.
Green Schools Attends Congressional Roundtable Luncheon with Representative Jim Langevin
Green Schools was privileged to attend a Congressional roundtable luncheon with Representative Jim Langevin. Green Schools enjoyed speaking with the Congressman on STEM and Environment and looks forward to collaborating with the New England Council. 
NGSS Chapter Spotlight: Franklin High School, Elk Grove, CA
An NGSS member prepares native California plants for the botanical garden.
A year of intense planning has paid off for Franklin High School students. About 60 students worked through chilly winds and rains over two days of winter break this past December to install three academic gardens and a rainwater recovery system on our campus. At the end, they celebrated their accomplishments with hot dogs and burgers barbecued by the vice principal in charge of school facilities.

About 200 students and several teachers worked throughout the 2014-15 school year to research and write a 109-page master plan to install four gardens on campus: an art garden, a native California botanical garden, a geological rock garden, and an English garden. All but the art garden were installed. The water recovery system was built inside the school's greenhouse area to alleviate the effects of the historic California drought. Read More
Student Spotlight: Breanne Penkala (Former Green Schools Intern)
Breanne Penkala is a 23 year old from Cumberland, Rhode Island. She graduated from Stonehill College with a double major in Sociology and Psychology and a minor in Environmental Studies.

She is currently completing a year of environmental service with Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod. With this program Breanne was placed with the Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension (CCCE) as the Hazardous Waste Assistant and Water Education Festival Coordinator.

The CCCE has hazardous waste collection sites all over the Cape to ensure our environment is protected as well as our community.

Read More
Join Green Schools at VT SWEEP Conference

Green Schools is excited to attend and present at this years
Cultivating Climate Resilience Conference 2016
An Education Summit for Empowerment & Action
Hosted by VT SWEEP, on April 9, 2016 at Montpelier High School, Montpelier, Vermont.

This summit aims to bring together formal and non-­formal K­-12 educators to share best practices that inspire hope, empowerment and action in the face of climate change. 

Register NOW
Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Training 
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Association (MFAA) and NEEP are hosting a high performance schools training workshop on April 21, 2016 at Maynard High School. You'll hear everything you need to know in order to implement NE-CHPS Version 3.1 for your next building project. 
Register NOW to explore green solutions for schools in Massachusetts
Ongoing Registration

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.

Register NOW
Events and Programs
Manchester Essex Regional School District Green Team  
Greening Your 21st Century School - Friday May 6, 2016 
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM

The principle goals of this training are to learn how to:
  1. Implement exemplary and sustainable practices in your K-12 school
  2. Reduce environmental impact and costs  
  3. Provide experiential environmental education designed to learn many disciplines including STEAM subjects, develop leadership and civic skills, and hone critical thinking skills
Student Climate & Conservation Congress - Apply Online!
Be a part of a week-long journey that lasts a lifetime! The mission of the Student Climate & Conservation Congress (Sc3) is to empower outstanding student environmental leaders with the skills, knowledge, and tools to address climate change and natural resource conservation challenges and better serve their schools and communities.  

WHEN: Sunday, June 26 - Saturday, July 2, 2016
WHERE: National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV
WHO: Current 8th - 11th Grade Students
(A limited number of faculty positions are available for educators.)
COST: $950 if you apply by March 15. 6 nights, all-inclusive (except transportation to WV). Financial Aid is available.
 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.


Click to learn more about our partners

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