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Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education
Green Schools Newsletter

                       

The 2014/15 school year is well under way! We hope that you all have a fantastic year. Whether you are a teacher or a non-formal environmental educator we hope that you find the information provided in these bi-monthly newsletters helpful in your efforts to build and continue sustainable green practices at your school.

The Maryland Green Schools Newsletter contains professional learning and funding opportunities, environmental literacy implementation updates, ideas for green schools and important dates.  Please share this newsletter with colleagues and partners interested in the Md Green School program.

If you have comments or Sustainable School practices that you would like to share please contact Gabrielle Cantor at greenschools@maeoe.org .

Laura Johnson Collard
Executive Director
Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE)

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The 2014/2015 Green School Year

It's that time of year again, back to school.  With that comes the beginning of the 2014/2015 Green School and Center Application Cycle.  The Green School applications have been posted on the MAEOE website.  The Green Center Application will be posted there in the next few weeks.  We will keep updating information on our Green Schools pages and letting you know about updates through Facebook. If you like us on Facebook, you will get notice of these updates as they happen. We are excited to hear about your Green School activities, we are looking for opportunities to share with other schools beginning their  Maryland Green School process and those who have established programs.  We want to be as helpful as possible during your journey, we have numerous green school resources for you to access including local support from Green Leaders and Green Centers. We have online support on the MAEOE website including the applications from last year and the rubric used to review applications.  We have scheduled several training opportunities in the fall and winter that can help you understand the process better. Below you will find the timeline training and deadlines for the school year.  If you intend to apply for the 2014/2015 School year we HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get in contact with your local Green Center or Green Leader.    Please feel free to email us with any questions that you have might have at greenschools@maeoe.org, you can also check out our frequently asked questions (faq) on the MAEOE website.

Green Schools 2014/2015 Timeline:

Trainings:

December 19, 2014:  2014/2015 Green School $50 Intent to Apply Fee Due.  Schools that applied in Spring 2014 and are resubmitting in the 2014/2015 school year will not be required to file an additional application fee. However, please contact greenschools@maeoe.org to confirm your fee status and intent to apply.

February 5-8, 2015: MAEOE Conference (Professional Development, Green School Application Feedback, Green School and Green Center Trainings and More)

March 2015: Application Review Training (All welcome, recommended if applying for 2015/2016 and if you are interested in assisting with the application reviews in April 2015. )

April 1, 2015:  2014/2015 Green School Application Due, instructions and drop-off locations can be found on the MAEOE website.

April 2014: Application Reviews (New and Old Reviewers Welcome, recommended if applying for 2015/2016)

May 29, 2015: Maryland Green School Youth Summit, Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Maryland. Volunteer, exhibit or attend.  Your schools does not need to be a current Md Green School to attend.  Newly Certified and Re-certified Md Green Schools will receive their awards here at a special ceremony.                                              


Green Apple Day of Service

US Green Building Council (USGBC) Maryland Chapter is calling all teachers, parents, administrators, businesses, and supporters to join us in reaching our goal of 50 Green Apple Days of Service projects in Maryland between September and October 18. Green Apple Day of Service is a global initiative of the USGBC Center for Green Schools to organize service projects at schools or in the surrounding neighborhoods.



In Maryland we invite you to implement any project that will work for you in the time frame you choose, be it a few hours, an entire day, one week or over the course of
the full two weeks.  USGBC Maryland can assist you in figuring out a project for your school, connecting you with technical support, volunteers, and some limited funding. Please contact Sabrina Harder sabrina@usgbcmd.org, USGBC Maryland's Community and Development Manager, for more information.

 


MAEOE's Featured School: Riderwood E.S.

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The minute visitors walk onto the grounds of Riderwood Elementary School (a public school in Baltimore County), they notice unmistakable signs that environmental learning is core to the school's philosophy. On the way in, they pass by our new "Kinder Garden" Nature Trail and admire the native perennials, shrubs and grasses that attract birds and butterflies. In the front lobby, a bulletin board declaring that "It's Easy To Be Green" highlights Green Team activities and displays pictures of students learning about the environment every day.

And these are just special, visible projects that the Green Team has undertaken. What is happening quietly in every classroom on a daily basis is an increased emphasis that our students have a vital role to play as "environmental stewards".

Members of the Green Team have heard many, many times "I always thought we should do a project like this but it's so hard to get the whole school on board and get organized. I can't do it alone." Our Green School process provides a mission and resources to support what individual teachers want to teach in their classrooms, what custodial staff want to do with the recycling program, and what students and parents are not able to accomplish individually.

 ***If your school has been doing Green School Activities that you would like to share, send a write up of 200 words and a few pictures to greenschools@maeoe.org and your school could be featured in the next newsletter***


EmPOWER Maryland: National Energy Awareness Month and Give-Aways 



This October, Maryland is celebrating National Energy Awareness Month by showing Marylanders how to save energy, protect your environment, reduce the amount of pollutants in the air and keep money in your pockets!

Did you know that more than 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity consumption? Energy e­fficiency programs are the fastest, most cost effective approach to reduce our impacts on the climate. The EmPOWER Maryland initiative has been in existence since 2008– the statewide goal is to reduce energy consumption 15 percent by 2015. We have three months to surpass this goal but we need your help!

Have you participated in any of the EmPOWER Maryland programs yet? Find out by logging on to the website  to see and then take advantage of discounted energy e­fficient lighting, discounted appliances, and the Quick Home Energy Check Up.

Things that EmPOWER Maryland can do for you:

1. Host an event or table at an event for member groups  - Our staff will come out and do a presentation for youth, educators, parents or all at no cost to you - we will bring some fun giveaways and provide participants with information on how to reduce energy and save money. We have bookmarks, flashlights, and other fun things to share!
2. National Energy Awareness Month FREE Posters and Activities

Contact Larissa Johnson at larissa.johnson@maryland.gov for more information

EmPOWER Maryland makes ¢ent$ for Marylanders by reducing energy in your home and keeping money in your pocket

Professional Development Opportunities
FLOW Education: Facilitating Learning through Outdoor Watershed Education
September 17th- October 29th, 2014
Online Course

This FREE online course is designed for classroom teachers (grades 4-8) to learn about watersheds and outdoor education using the Chesapeake Bay watershed as an example. The course introduces engaging technologies for investigating watersheds and helps you plan and effectively implement outdoor experiences.

Please see the website for more details


Montgomery Parks Annual Educators’ Open House
Thursday, October 9 from 5:30 – 7:30pm
Montgomery Parks Shady Grove Training Facility, Rockville, MD

For those of you unfamiliar with the Educators’ Open House, it is an event where they invite local Environmental Education providers to exhibit  their classroom resources and outreach/fieldtrip programs to area teachers from both public and private schools. It is free for exhibitors and teachers. There will be plenty of free parking. 

Please see the website for more details

2nd Annual Teachers' Night on the Farm
Thursday October 16 from 4:00pm- 8:00pm
Baltimore County Agriculture Center
•Network with some of the 50+ farms, organizations and agencies providing Ag-Education courses and experiences for teachers, students and families.
•Take home great curricular ideas/materials/contacts. YOU WILL LEAVE WITH CLASSROOM RESOURCES! •Practice some lessons/activities with guided hands-on activities and make-n-takes.
•Take a guided Farm Tour (4:00-5:00only)
•Interact with farm animals.
•Enjoy local farm fresh food and drinks (including Maryland wines)
•Buy some farm fresh produce and products like local honey, student-made goat milk soap and fall flowers.

Register for this free event


Growing Up WILD and Flying WILD Workshops
October 17, 2014 - 9am-12:30pm: 
Growing Up WILD
​October 17, 2014 - 1:30pm- 5:00pm: Flying WILD
​​
Growing Up WILD is an interdisciplinary early childhood education program that builds on children's sense of wonder about nature, inviting them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Growing Up WILD has been aligned with Common Core (K-2), Head Start domains, and Maryland Environmental Literacy standards.

Through activities involving language arts, social science and math experiences, coupled with community outreach and service learning applications, Flying WILD offers a whole-school approach to environmental education using birds as the focus.

Please see the website for more details


For more Professional Development Opportunities, please see the Professional Development Calendar on our website at http://maeoe.org/maeoe-calendar/



                       
September/October 2014
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In This Issue

The 2014/2015 Green School Year
Green Apple Days of Service
MAEOE's Featured School: Riderwood E.S.
EmPOWER Maryland
September EnviroTip
Preparing for Your Recertification
2014 Green Ribbon Schools
Professional Development
Available Grants and Resources
EmPOWER Rangers

Follow MAEOE

Follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as our blog for the latest information about professional development opportunities, job announcements, and Green Schools deadlines. 
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September EnviroTip

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You have most likely done most of your back-to-school shopping, but here are some general green purchasing tips that you can use any time (provided by the EPA).
1.
 Buy recycled. Items made from paper and plastic are often made from recycled materials.
2. Buy in bulk or multi-packs. Buying more items at once reduces packaging waste. You can also buy items with packaging that can be reused or recycled.
3. Buy used. You can find authentic retro clothes, accessories, and other items at your local thrift store.
4. Trade with friends. Instead of buying brand new products, swap with friends or family.
5. Combine bags. When you're at the mall, don't get a new shopping bag for every item—combine bags or put them in your backpack.
6. More ideas here

Maryland Green Ribbon Schools
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The Green Ribbon Schools award is given to select schools across the nation that the U.S. Department of Education recognized as schools that save energy, reduce costs, feature environmentally sustainable learning spaces, protect health, foster wellness, and offer environmental education to boost academic achievement and community engagement. This year's applications are due January 5th, 2015

For more information click here.

Prepare for Your Next Green School Recertification

If you last certified in 2011, you are eligible to recertify for your Green School Status in April 2015.  If you last certified in 2010 please contact the office to discuss your eligibility for recertification.  Here are some tips to help prepare you for your application.

Review the 2014/2015 application
: The application is up!

Create an outline of what your application will look like: Outline the three objectives and fill in what your school does that fits into each section.

Start collecting documentation now:  Your application will need documentation to support each section.  If you can start collecting pictures, agendas, student work and other artifacts now, creating the application will go a little smoother.

Browse the MAEOE website for resources:  The MAEOE website has example applications, example projects, professional development, and other great resources.  Go to the Green Schools Resources Page for details.

Green Leaders Needed
Do you have experience putting together a green school application? Are you interested in assisting a school or more with Sustainable Schools activities or helping a school build a green team?  Sign-up to be a Green Leader! Explore the Green Leader Page here.  Email mdgsorganizer@maeoe.org for more information


Available Grants and Resources

Donorschoose.org
Deadline: N/A

"DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers post classroom project requests on the site, and [donors] can give any amount to the project that most inspires [them]." Green Schools can use this method to get materials for outdoor classrooms and other environmental education activities. Before using this site, please refer to your district's policy for accepting donations.

Donald Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grant
Deadline: October 1, 2014

Public and/or Private 3rd- 6th grade teachers, with classes of a minimum of 15 students may apply for indoor or outdoor herb garden grant.
Please go to the website for more information.


USGBC-MD Green Apple Day of Service
Projects occur Sept. 20th- Oct. 19th

USGBC- MD can assist you in figuring out a project for your school, connecting you with technical support, volunteers, and some limited funding. Please contact Sabrina Harder sabrina@usgbcmd.org, USGBC Maryland's Community and Development Manager, for more information.

The Audubon Society of Central Maryland Garden Grants
Deadline: December 15, 2014
The Audubon Society of Central Maryland offers cash grants to schools and other organizations in their area. These grants helped primary and secondary school students to develop native plant and wildlife gardens and habitats at their schools and other locations.  Please go to
www.centralmdaudubon.org to download more information about the 2014-2015 grant program

Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant
Deadline: January 16, 2015

The Trust is currently accepting applications for its Environmental Education K-12 Mini Grant program. This program supports activities around a watershed issue investigation including field experiences, fieldwork and student-led action projects as well as teacher professional development and programs to advance environmental literacy in the Chesapeake Bay region. To learn more about this grant program click here.

Chesapeake Bay Trust Restoration and Outreach Grants
Categories include Restoration, Environmental Education and Outreach. Do not limit yourself to environmental education, there may be opportunities in the other categories. Explore the opportunities here.

Lowe's Toolbox for Education
Deadline: Oct. 15, 2014 or 1500 applications whichever comes first
Increase parent involvement? Build stronger community spirit? Create a new school tradition? The ideas are endless. Whatever goals and dreams you have for your school, we can help you fulfill them! Please go to the website for more details.

Local Bussinesses
Local bussiness may be willing to make in-kind donations of their products.  It never hurts to ask!

Students and Teachers!

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The EmPOWER Rangers have been created to teach youth (and adults) about the different types of energy sources that provide electricity in Maryland.  The problem is that the EmPOWER Rangers are NAMELESS, we need your help!

You can go online and submit your name suggestions until September 30th and then we will be voting in October for their names.  See more information here


Questions or comments?


Call MAEOE at 443-733-1220

Laura Collard
Executive Director
director@maeoe.org

Gabrielle Cantor
Program Administrator
greenschools@maeoe.org

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