Travilah is a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Winner
Gazette article, Travilah Elementary School named a National Green Ribbon School
Out With Trash and Trans Fats; In With Trekkers for Travilah
Located in North Potomac, Md., Travilah Elementary School truly lives by the motto “practice what you preach.” Administrators, teachers, parents, and students all are leaders in the effort to reduce Travilah’s impact on the environment, practice healthy and active living, and integrate environmental education into the life of the school. Students take a leadership role in Travilah’s green practices, health, and growth. The Travliah student government association annually sponsors a Green Day, which encourages peers to write songs, raps, green facts, and riddles to build excitement for conservation. On Green Day, classes engage in stewardship practices, such as cleaning up the school courtyard and playground, taking special nature walks, and brainstorming ways students can help nature stay clean and healthy.
Everyday practices have contributed to a reduction in Travilah’s energy consumption, which previously was recognized by a county award, seven awards from the school district, and one from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. Teachers and students routinely turn off lights, shut down unused electronics and computers, and close classroom doors, windows, and blinds at the end of the day to save on heating and cooling. Travilah also is committed to recycling and the reduction of waste. The school has adopted environmentally responsible practices, such as copying on both sides of paper and promoting Trash-Free Fridays, where students are encouraged to pack no-trash lunches. Additionally, Travilah has partnered with Whole Foods Market to recycle 225 daily lunch trays, and holds an annual “Drive for Supplies” to repurpose and reuse school supplies.
The school community stays active through the Travilah Trekkers, a group of both students and adults that wear special T-shirts and run laps around the bus circle each morning to stay healthy. The school’s Dolphin Dash and Fun Run also encourage exercise with 1-mile runs around the school field. The school community is invited to participate in Travilah Moves Day, an event where the community learns about family wellness activities like yoga, tennis, and karate. In addition to being a USDA Bronze Level HealthierUS School Challenge, the school provides a cafeteria menu that includes grains that are 75 percent whole grains, fat-free and one percent fat milk, and no-trans-fat and low-sodium meals. Students are required to select a fruit or vegetable with each meal.
Environmental education is an essential part of the Travilah curriculum. In addition to shifting science instruction to an inquiry-based model, the school incorporates STEM concepts. Using the mantra “No Child Left Inside,” Travilah teachers are encouraged to incorporate the school’s outdoor classrooms, courtyard, and organic gardens into their lesson plans, including decomposition lessons using the school’s composter. Guest speakers are regularly invited to Travilah to help students make connections to possible careers and practitioners in the field. For example, each year second-graders hear from a nearby farmer, who invites them to his farm to learn about agriculture, healthy eating, canning, growing vegetables, and successful farming practices. Other environmental lessons include third-graders creating a community action project directed at litter and pollution reduction, fourth-graders investigating organic farming practices at the Maryland Historic Agriculture Park, and fifth-graders participating in the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s “Day at the Bay,” where they collect water samples, study aquatic diversity, dredge for oysters, and analyze data.
Travilah is a Finalist of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award
See the article in the Gazette, Travilah Elementary in the running for the green.
"Travilah is one of two schools the Maryland State Department of Education nominated for the U.S. Department of Education’s 2014 Green Ribbon Schools award."
Here is a pdf copy of the article as well.