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The California Department of Education (CDE) today issued this week’s roundup of education-related announcements of public interest.
CDE Staffer Receives National Award
The CDE congratulates one of its own this week, as specialist Lesley Taylor was selected as the 2014 recipient of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award.
The honor is bestowed annually to a state education agency official who does the most to advance green schools in their state. The Director’s Award recognizes exemplary efforts to administer the federal Green Ribbon Schools recognition award, which encourages schools and districts to make comprehensive environmental and sustainability education available to all students in healthy and efficient facilities.
Taylor was noted for her efforts in developing a new online application, a feedback scorecard, a California Green Ribbon Schools program, and planning for the 2013 Best Practices Tour. Taylor also took extraordinary steps to recruit schools, host Webinars, revamp CDE’s Green Ribbon Web pages, conduct social media outreach, and coordinate with partners. In 2014, three California schools and one district were named National Green Ribbon Schools, and two schools and two districts were named California Green Ribbon Schools in its inaugural program.
The federal Green Ribbon Schools program said her actions serve as a model for other states to emulate. Taylor will be honored in July during a national recognition event for her efforts to promote environmental stewardship, health, and sustainability, and for inspiring schools to aim high.
California Students Win Poster Contest
The CDE has selected nine pieces of art submitted by students statewide as winners of the “My Healthy School Meal” poster contest. California students in each grade were encouraged to draw pictures of how their breakfast or lunch has become healthier under new federal guidelines. This resulted in colorful pictures of nutritious food along with messages on the importance of eating healthy.
The contest was designed to increase awareness of healthy changes in the updated federal New Meal Pattern (NMP). The NMP-required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010-increases fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods while decreasing sodium and calories in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
Of the 850 submissions, the nine winning posters were selected based on their creativity, craftsmanship, visual appeal, and representation of the NMP. The artwork by the nine students is available on the CDE NMP Resources and Trainings Web page. Only the students’ first names are displayed to protect their privacy and security.
School food authorities can get free copies of the winning posters to use in school cafeterias and campuses to promote the NMP by completing the Poster Contest Order Form (PDF).