63 districts, 1 goal
The Leadership Briefing of the Green Schools Coalition of Westchester offered equal doses of hope and the reality of the challenges facing schools trying to go green.
Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 23:48
On a brisk Thursday morning that fostered favorable thoughts about the future of wind power, over 50 people representing 30 schools and districts from across the county gathered in the NYPA building in White Plains to talk about one thing: becoming green. The meeting was the second of the new Green Schools Coalition of Westchester, intended specifically for superintendents and principals.
Various directors and partners, including the Children's Environmental Literacy Fund and Teatown Lake Reservation, explained the goals of the coalition, which are to leverage individual schools' successes and provide an organized structure to share best practices and resources, and the benefits of such a coalition. The focus is on integrating sustainability into three areas of the school -- buildings, curriculums and role in the outside community. They were followed by short talks from superintendents of Scarsdale, Briarcliff and Katonah, who are far along the green path.
Perhaps the most interesting information provided in the meeting was the results of a survey conducted over the summer, with participation from 335 school administrators. Among the long list of facts provided, one stood out as the highest statistic: 90 percent of the schools have a student environmental club. Power to the students! The high turnout of the survey indicates a universal seriousness of sustainability, which Fred Koontz of Teatown stated was "the greatest issue facing humanity."
The first inclusive meeting of the coalition, which will include administrator, facility, parent, teacher and student representatives, will happen on Saturday, November 14. If your school would like to join the coalition, contact Dennis Power at email@example.com.