January 16, 2019


CHARLESTON, W.Va. The West Virginia Department of Education today announced Junior Elementary School in Barbour County as the West Virginia Sustainable Schools Award (WVSS) for their green and healthy biking program for their students and families. In addition to being recognized as a Sustainable School, Junior Elementary School will receive a $5,000 grant to embark on healthy initiatives and are nominated for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award (ED-GRS).

“We are so proud of the students, teachers and administration at Junior Elementary School for embracing this green initiative,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine. “The recognition as a Sustainable Schools is well deserved, and I hope that the school community will continue to work together to expand their healthy programs.”

Junior Elementary School students, families, staff and school community will use the money from the grant to start a “green healthy biking” program. The school plans to purchase sets of bicycles for use by grades 2-3-4 and tricycles for grades PK-K-1, along with a set of 25 safety helmets. Arrangements have been made with a county business, Sports’N’Spokes, to provide safety training sessions for the children. The bikes will be used during recesses, physical education classes and 15-minute brain breaks during academic classes.

The WVSS award program is a recognition program for schools that exemplify a commitment to sustainable practices in the facilities and integrate those practices into the curriculum and community. The program recognizes schools where staff, students, officials and communities have worked together to produce energy efficient, sustainable and healthy school environments and to ensure the sustainability and environmental literacy of graduates. The ED-GRS is an outreach initiative that helps to promote innovative school sustainability practices and resources and multi-agency, multi-sector collaborations at a variety of levels (federal, state, school).

Each year, all public and private schools in West Virginia are invited to apply for this state and national recognition. Visit https://wvde.us/middle-secondary-learning/science/wv-sustainable-schools/ for more details.