Wilmington Montessori School Receives National Green Ribbon Schools Award

Date: April 26, 2016



Seven Additional Schools Receive Sustainability Grants from DESEU

On Thursday, April 28th, for the fourth year in a row, the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE), the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), and the Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility (DESEU) are hosting a celebration to recognize the winners of the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools award. This year, that honor goes to Wilmington Montessori School (WMS), a Montessori-based private school serving ages 12 months through sixth grade. Distinguished guest speakers include Delaware State Senator Harris McDowell, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin, DNREC Secretary David Small, DDOE Chief Academic Officer Michael Watson and Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility Program Manager Suzanne Sebastian.

Head of School Lisa Lalama will be accepting the award on behalf of WMS. “Teaching our children to be good stewards of the earth is a fundamental Montessori value that we have worked to instill in each of our students for more than 50 years. We are thrilled that the efforts of our entire community – students, staff, and parents – are being recognized on the national level!”

WMS is one of only six private schools and 47 total prekindergarten through 12th grade schools in the country to receive the national award in 2016. Previous national award winners from Delaware include: St. Andrew’s School (2013); Red Clay Consolidated School District (2014); Linden Hill Elementary School (2015); Mt. Pleasant Elementary School (2015); and Kirk Middle School (2015).

Two years ago, DVGBC and the DESEU launched the Delaware Pathways to Green Schools program to provide support and resources for schools interested in pursuing sustainability awards and certifications such as Green Ribbon Schools. To date, the program has worked with 18 K-12 schools in Delaware and dispersed over $30,000 in direct funding for sustainability projects. Through the University of Delaware’s Industrial Assessment Center, the program has also provided free building energy assessments to 14 schools.

As part of the 2015-16 Delaware Pathways to Green Schools program, seven schools were awarded mini-grants funded by the DESEU to support projects such as: installing a pollinator garden on school grounds; purchasing a Level II electric vehicle charging station; and retrofitting water fountains to serve as bottle filling stations. These mini-grants totaled $11,000 and individual awards ranged from $500 to $2,500. All mini-grant winners have been invited to participate in the green schools celebration and share some of their progress to date. These schools are: 1) Douglass School, 2) Las Americas ASPIRA Academy, 3) Linden Hill Elementary School, 4) Kirk Middle School, 5) St. Andrew’s School, 6) Warner Elementary School, and 7) West Park Place Elementary School.

To RSVP for the celebration on April 28th, please visit our website: http://dvgbc.org/greenschools/event/2016-delaware-green-schools-recognition-ceremony. To learn more about Green Ribbon Schools, the Delaware Pathways to Green Schools Program, or how to get involved as a volunteer, please contact Holly Shields, DVGBC Policy and Program Manager, at 215-399-5797 or hshields@dvgbc.org.