NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The City School District of New Rochelle is applying for a federal Green Ribbon designation for Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center as one of the District’s initiatives to become more sustainable and environmentally sensitive.
Barnard is the first school for which the District applied for the recognition under the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Program, which aims to “inspire schools, districts and institutions of higher education to strive for 21st-century excellence by highlighting promising school sustainability practices and resources that all can employ,” according to the U.S. DOE’s website.
The award recognizes schools, districts and colleges that reduce environmental impact and costs, improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff and provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
The District-Wide Healthy and Safety Committee began work on the process in 2019 by establishing criteria for first school to propose for the award.
“This demonstrates the District’s commitment to improve its sustainability and reduce its impact on the environment through our operations,” said District Director of Facilities Carl Thurnau.
Barnard was chosen based on its size (a smaller school was sought to reduce the application workload on the first try), its student population of 51 percent free and reduced priced lunch students and strong interest from Principal Dr. Nicolas Cracco. Barnard is the home to Amy’s Greenhouse, which hosts horticultural lessons and events such as plant sales and pumpkin carving. As a magnet school, it draws students from throughout the District.
Members of the Health and Safety Committee are working with department directors and Barnard staff to complete the application. The District will consider applications for other schools in the future.
The application is made to the New York State Education Department, which recommends up to five schools a year to the federal program.