ALEXANDRIA, VA — May 4, 2017 — One Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school is among the schools named as the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Program. The DoDEA School is Tarawa Terrace Elementary School in North Carolina.
In total, across the country, 45 schools, 9 districts, and 9 postsecondary institutions are being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education. The schools, districts, and postsecondary institutions were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 29 state education agencies. The list of 63 total selectees includes 1 charter, 6 non-public, and 5 magnet schools.
Tarawa Terrace Elementary School located at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC was originally two separate schools but in April 2011 a tornado destroyed one of the schools beyond repair. A new wing was added to remaining school. The school was awarded Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by United States Green Building Council in 2014.
Tarawa Terrace Elementary School is one of DoDEA's first Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) pilot schools. The school was able to outfit three technology labs and purchase one of the first mobile computer labs in DoDEA. With the new footprint, came enough space to create a dedicated science lab which is the "STEAM" room, and several outdoor green teaching/learning spaces that provide teachers and students with tools and space for experimentations, creations, and innovations.
Students use microscopes to learn about the smallest units of life and use skeletal models to identify anatomy. Tarawa Terrace Elementary School has grown plants in barrel gardens that expanded across the continents, raised ducks, chicken, and butterflies. Students of all ages engage in motion experiments and learn physics principals sometimes with the aid of high school students.
Staff and students formed new extra-curricular clubs including a green team to work on beautification and conservation, STEAM team to learn the science behind it all, and a robotics' team. The school developed a cooperative learning partnership with Lejeune High School as well as community partnerships with engineering and maintenance battalions and Marine Corp Base biologist to sustain real-time learning experiences for their students.
Awardees will meet in July to celebrate their accomplishments during national recognition events. More information on the federal recognition award can be found at the Department of Education Green Ribbon School Site . Additionally, you can view a report with brief summaries of each of the honorees at the Department of Education Green Ribbon site.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-aged children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.