Dutch Fork Elementary School’s Academy of Environmental Studies has just become the first school in the state to be named a Green Ribbon School.
The Lexington Richland Five school is one of 35 across the nation selected as the 2019 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools awardees. According to a release from the district, recipients of the award are honored for their innovative efforts to address the three “pillars” of the program: reducing environmental impact and utility costs, improving health and wellness, and ensuring effective sustainable education.
“We are humbled and grateful to receive this prestigious award and ever appreciative of district leadership for supporting the work of magnet schools,” said Principal Julius Scott. “I would like to express our gratitude to the business partnerships that enhance the real world learning experiences afforded to our small scientists. Our school really does develop students who care about the world we live, and we are proud to be the first in South Carolina to receive this honor.”
Dutch Fork Elementary School utilizes efficient lighting and cooling systems and participates in water conservation by collecting water in rain buckets for use in its school gardens. DFES also established a well-rounded approach to nutrition and fitness through its Farm to School program, the creation of a natural trail behind the school, and maintaining a fitness club in the morning for fourth and fifth graders. Classes also collect and measure plastic bag use, create their own gardens, participate in wildlife observation, research air quality and have a school-based recycling program.
Dutch Fork Elementary School’s Academy of Environmental Sciences is an environmental sciences-themed magnet school that serves a diverse population of students. The elementary magnet school uses the the theme “from the mountains to the sea” that explores South Carolina landscape within a global context.