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Students recognized at 12th annual KGHS/KY NEED Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon in Lexington


More than 100 Kentucky students and teachers were recognized at the 12th annual Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon in Lexington on April 25 hosted by the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools (KGHS) program and the Kentucky National Energy Education Development (KY NEED) project.

As an initiative within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, KGHS is a program of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC). The agency promotes learning and skills for a sustainable and economically healthy environment. KEEC was established in 1990 by legislation to improve Kentuckians’ understanding and knowledge of their environment.

“The Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools program provides students with hands-on projects allowing them to work together to enhance learning within their schools by making students more aware of how their decisions impact the environment and health. Students utilize their own creativity and what they learn in the classroom to develop solutions to real-world problems,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Derrick Ramsey.

Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Deputy Secretary Mike Nemes (right) talks with a student from Sayre School in Fayette County at the 12th annual Youth Summit and Awards Luncheon in Lexington on April 25. (Photo provided)

The youth summit recognized students and projects promoting school, community health and environmental sustainability. Student projects included: development of an Environmental Learning Trail at Lloyd Memorial High School; vermicomposting — which is composting with worms — by students at Sayre School; energy conservation at Washington County High School; and White’s Tower Elementary School students teaching their peers about electrical transportation. Students from Allen County-Scottsville High School showcased a record 26 projects completed in the 2018-19 school year.

“Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools is an exciting program that gives students from elementary through high school the knowledge and opportunity to improve their school’s health and environment as well as save money and energy,” said KEEC Executive Director Billy Bennett. “The summit is always inspiring because the students get to display their projects to their peers, teachers and state leaders and be recognized for what they have accomplished.”

Erin Sliney, with the Environmental Education Leadership Corps (EEL Corps) at Legacy Grove Park in Winchester, was the summit’s featured speaker. The Environmental Education Leadership Corps is a KEEC program that places AmeriCorps members throughout Kentucky to develop and deliver environmental education programming while being trained in best practices.

During the event, KEEC announced Tates Creek Elementary School in Fayette County and Saint Agnes School in Jefferson County as the winners of the Kentucky Green Ribbon Schools Award. The two schools are also Kentucky nominees for the U. S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award. The national award recognizes schools, school districts and postsecondary institutions for achievement in three pillars of the program: reducing environmental impact and costs; improving the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and providing effective environmental and sustainability education. National award recipients will be announced by U.S. Department of Education on May 22.

The following nine KGHS schools attended:

• Allen County-Scottsville High School

• Lloyd Memorial High School in Kenton County

• Ockerman Middle School in Boone County

• Saint Agnes School in Jefferson County

• Sayre School in Fayette County

• Tates Creek Elementary School in Fayette County

• The Virginia Chance School in Jefferson County

• Washington County High School

• White’s Tower Elementary School in Kenton County

The Academy of Leadership at Millcreek Elementary School, Bryan Station High School, Morton Middle School and Redwood Cooperative School in Fayette County, Grant County High School, Kit Carson Elementary in Madison County, and Pikeville High School in Pike County also received awards, but were unable able to attend the event.

For more information about the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools program, visit greenschools.ky.gov.

From Education and Workforce Development Cabinet


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