WASHINGTON, April 23 (UPI) -- Schools in 29 States and the District of Columbia have been named U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, administration officials said.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was joined Monday by White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to announce the 78 winning schools.
The announcement was made during a visit to Stoddert Elementary School, one of the District of Columbia's two selected schools.
In the federal recognition program, schools are honored for comprehensive approach to creating "green" environments through reducing environmental impact, promoting health and ensuring a high-quality environmental and outdoor education, an EPA release said.
"Schools that take a green approach cut costs on their utility bills, foster healthy and productive classrooms, and prepare students to thrive in the 21st century economy," Sutley said. "These Green Ribbon School award winners are taking outstanding steps to educate tomorrow's environmental leaders, and demonstrating how sustainability and environmental awareness make sense for the health of our students and our country."
The list of winners included 66 public schools and 12 private schools, as well as 43 elementary, 31 middle and 26 high schools -- with about 50 percent of them high-poverty schools, the EPA release reported.