Pureology and Global Green USA announced the grand prize winner in the Green School Makeover competition. As part of the grand prize, the Texas School for the Deaf will receive the ultimate Green School Makeover worth $130,000.

Four runner-up schools—which will each receive $2,500 towards sustainability upgrades—were also named: Garlough Environmental School in St. Paul, MN; Heritage Middle School in Berwyn, IL; Samuel Powel Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA; and Zimmerman School House/Abi’s Place in Coral Springs, FL, a school for children with disabilities.

The grand-prize winner and runners-up were selected by a panel of judges out of a pool of more than 220 public, private and charter K – 12 schools that submitted proposals for a green school makeover.

“Global Green USA has been greening schools for more than a decade—we believe every child deserves a healthy learning environment,” said Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Global Green.

“A green school makeover can improve student performance, increase average daily attendance, and reduce operating costs, energy and water consumption. We are deeply excited to be able to bring those benefits to the students and teachers at the extraordinary Texas School for the Deaf.”

The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) is the oldest continuously operating, publicly funded school in Texas.  Since 1857, over 10,000 K – 12 grade students have graced the halls of TSD and benefitted from the school’s diverse program levels to ensure that each student will be able to learn at his or her most effective rate.

green school makeoverAs part of the grand prize, the school will receive the ultimate Green School Makeover including $65,000 for school renovations and an additional $65,000 worth of technical assistance. 

“We are so excited that Pureology and Global Green have given us this opportunity,” said TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen. “Unlike other public schools, we live on this campus 24 hours a day and we generate a lot of waste. 

This green school makeover prize will help us take our fledgling recycling efforts to the next level and install some important tools, like automatic faucets, to help us become more sustainable.”

With the funds received through the Green School Makeover Competition, the school plans to:

  • ·         Update facilities to allow for energy efficient upgrades:

o   Retrofitting light fixtures to allow for energy efficient bulbs, and motion-activated lights and  conserve energy.  Cost savings from the energy efficient upgrades will be reinvested back into the education programs.

  • ·         Initiate water conservation tactics:

o   Reduce water usage and consumption by installing hands-free faucets in lavatories and collecting rainwater in barrels to be used for watering the school grounds.

o   TSD spends $20,000 in bottled water every year – switching to reusable bottles and installing a tap filtration system allows funds saved to be put back into education

  • ·         Initiate waste reduction tactics:

o   Install hands-free hand dryers in restrooms which use less paper and save materials from going to the landfills.  It will also reduce supply costs for the school, cut down on waste and reduce staff time replenishing paper towels and emptying trash.

  • ·         Educate student body on recycling:

o   Install recycling bins near trashcans across campus to make recycling easier and encourage recycling campus-wide.  

o   Educate school community on recycling and spread habits to home life to support a greener lifestyle.

Four runner-up schools will each receive $2,500 towards their proposed sustainability upgrades:

1. Garlough Environmental School (St. Paul, MN) Green School Makeover

  • Install a yurt to be used as a teaching space for their multi-cultural nature class
  • Implement a 20-student bicycle-bus to serve as an alternative to school buses
  • Install a chicken coop as a compliment to the already existing organic garden beds

2. Heritage Middle School (Berwyn, IL) Green School Makeover

  • Remove disposable products in cafeteria to reusable ones (i.e., silverware, trays, carts)
  • Switch to compact fluorescent lights which use 1/5 less power and have a longer rated life (six to ten times average)

3. Samuel Powel Elementary School (Philadelphia, PA) Green School Makeover

  • Plant an organic vegetable garden to teach children about agriculture, nutrition, and ecology
  • Redirect storm water into rain gardens filled with native plants to provide opportunities for learning math, biology, ecology, physics

4. Zimmerman School House/Abi’s Place (Coral Springs, FL) (Children w/ disabilities) Green School Makeover

  • Install eco-friendly flooring
  • Use of non-toxic paint, flooring and cleaning products
  • Upgrade facilities to enhance education programs on functional activities for daily living

“Pureology is proud to support Global Green USA and present the Green School Makeover Competition to help improve the lives of students while educating parents, teachers, students and the public about the importance of creating healthy green classrooms,” states Shae Kalyani, Vice President of Marketing for Pureology.  “We are thrilled The Texas School for the Deaf won and are looking forward to seeing the outcome for all of the winning schools!”

To follow the progress of TSD’s green makeover, please visit Pureology’s Facebook page.  Pureology will be documenting the renovation process with photos and videos from January through June of 2012.

To view the winning entries, and to learn how you can implement green improvements in your school, home and community, please visit www.GlobalGreen.org/GreenSchools

Pat WymanPat Wyman is the best selling author of  Instant Learning for Amazing GradesLearning vs. Testing, CEO and founder of HowToLearn.com . and the creator of the Personal Learning Styles Inventory.

Wyman is an advocate of safe and eco-friendly learning environments.