By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Arcado ES celebrates designation as Green Ribbon School

 The Green Team, 4th grade environmental stewards at Gwinnett County’s Arcado Elementary , will host a special visit this week. The visit is due to the U.S. Department of Education recently naming Arcado Elementary as a 2014 National Green Ribbon School.

The Parkview Cluster elementary school is being honored for the school’s exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways. Arcado Elementary students, teachers, staff, and its community members will host a celebration on Friday, May 9. The program begins at 9 a.m. “The students and staff at Arcado Elementary were so excited to get the news that we received this award. We are proud stewards of the environment and are honored that the U.S. Department of Education sees us as such,” says Principal Penny Palmer Young. At the event, Principal Palmer Young will present to students letters from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Governor Nathan Deal. The letters congratulate students, faculty, and staff members for their work on being environmentally conscious and responsible.

Arcado Elementary is one of 48 schools in the nation recognized with this distinction. The school’s environmental education committee has worked closely with students, teachers, and the PTA, since their efforts began in the early 1990s, proving the program’s sustainability and viability. Each year, interest in the school’s Green Team continues to grow. This school year, 70 4th graders completed applications for 25 positions on the school’s coveted Green Team. Planting the seeds of environmental protection and care ensures the future of the community through the numerous “small tasks” completed by the school’s Green Team each week. Some of the small steps taken to reduce the ecological footprint include recycling classroom paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, ink jet cartridges, plastic six-pack rings, cell phones, laptops, and tablets. Arcado Elementary and a second Georgia school winner will split $10,000 in award prize money from the Captain Planet Foundation and Turner Foundation, for demonstrating energy efficiency efforts.