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Burleson receives Green Ribbon

Published 12:18pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

F.E. Burleson Elementary School has another ribbon to add to its collection.

The Hartselle school has been named a 2014 Green Ribbon School by the Alabama State Department of Education.

The schools were honored for their approach to creating “green” environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education. The Alabama Green Ribbon Schools have been submitted for the US Department of Education Green Ribbon School Program. National honorees will be announced April 22.

FEB along with Homewood Middle School and Brock’s Gap Intermediate School in the Hoover City School System were the Green Ribbon School recipients this year.

The selected schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs; promote better health; and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.

“These Alabama schools have been nominated and chosen based on their dedication to environmentally sustainable and innovative practices. They are a model for our state. We are very proud to see new schools join the GreenRibbon Schools honorees this year,” said Dr. Tommy Bice, State Superintendent of Education, in a press release.

Burleson Elementary is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, a 21st Century Community Learning Center and a Leader In Me school. The faculty and staff at FEB believe the school should not merely focus on test scores, but should provide opportunities for developing the whole child.

Learning experiences in sustainability and recycling, paired with an “experiencing nature” approach to learning, not only emphasizes responsibility for our planet and its resources, but also promotes respect for each other while instilling and fostering leadership potential.

FEB also has an Alabama Certified Outdoor Classroom, providing numerous benefits for learners not found in the typical classroom setting. This hands-on learning environment gives children an intimate glimpse into the natural world around them more so than merely studying it from a book.

With help from the Alabama Wildlife Federation, FEB’s outdoor classroom became certified in 2010. The facility is designed to help children develop a healthy awareness and appreciation of their environment.

The classroom includes stations such as a 15-foot by 25-foot glass greenhouse to promote sustainable gardening; worm composting; bird habitats including feeding areas, watering areas, and nesting boxes; butterfly habitats and attraction areas with host and nectar plants; a Koi pond; a gazebo; an amphitheater with stage; and outdoor musical instruments. One hundred fifty-three geothermal wells at FEB provide energy to heat and cool the school and provide learning opportunities for students to study alternate energy.

All schools will receive State Board of Education recognition at the May 14 meeting.

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