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Longfellow Elementary named one of four state nominees for national environmental award

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Longfellow Elementary School in Bixby Knolls has just been named one of four California finalist nominees for the new Green Ribbon Award, a federal program that recognizes schools for reducing environmental impact on their communities, promoting healthy school environments for their own students and staff, and offering high-quality environmental education. The nominations have been submitted to the federal Department of Education, and award winners will be announced on Earth Day— April 22.
The other nominees are: Environmental Charter High School in Lawndale; The Athenian School in Danville; and Grand View Elementary School in Manhattan Beach.
Over the past two years, through its lunchtime and classroom recycling programs and other efforts, Longfellow has diverted over 100,000 pounds of would-be trash from the landfill, according to a press release issued by the school Tuesday. Long Beach’s Environmental Services Bureau has been instrumental in the achievement of Longfellow’s high waste-diversion rate. In addition to recycling, Longfellow Green Team volunteers deliver unused cold foods and milk to Food Finders, a local food bank distributor, on a daily basis. Students also participate in a “Walk to School Wednesday” program. Volunteers conduct a monthly uniform swap. Additionally, the school has a new Junior Green Team of 4th and 5th graders.
On top of its daily “green” activities, Longfellow, along with all Long Beach Unified School District schools, earned Energy Star Certification in late 2011, due to concerted efforts at the district level to conserve energy and save money. “This, along with the district’s participation in SHAPE California, a nutrition education program, and the district’s Styrofoam recycling program, are ways in which all Long Beach Unified schools are working toward healthier school environments,” said Heather Morrison, Green Team coordinator, who also indicated that Longfellow teachers promote health and wellness through an expanded outdoor physical-education program and by taking students on numerous field trips that foster outdoor learning and environmental awareness.
The school also has a courtyard garden/outdoor science lab, which features California native plants, fruit trees, raised vegetable beds and an area for composting and vermicomposting. An indoor science classroom provides an additional resource for hands-on learning and discovery.
“Longfellow’s nomination as a finalist in the Green Ribbon Award provides an example of how any school can ‘go green’ with the effort, collaboration and support of administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students,” Morrison said.

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
Longfellow Elementary named one of four state nominees for national environmental award