Several Lexington-Richland School District Five schools were recognized for their conservation efforts through the Green Steps program.
The Green Steps program encourages individual schools in South Carolina to take annual steps toward becoming more environmentally responsible. Developed by Keep the Midlands Beautiful (KMB), Sonoco Recycling (SR) and DHEC’s Office of Recycling, Green Steps began in the 2003-2004 school year with seven Midlands school participating. The program now has 39 schools in 12 counties initiating and sustaining Green Steps projects that fall in the areas of conserve, protect, and restore.
“The SC Green Step Schools Initiative matches schools with qualified local and state environmental educators,” said Jane Hiller, Education Specialist at Sonoco Recycling. “The goal is to help teachers empower their students to learn, do and teach others ways to improve the health of their communities.”
Two of the participating School District Five schools received Superlative Schools of 2019. Irmo Middle School was named the Overall School of the Year, and Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences was named the first ever National Green Ribbon School is South Carolina. Other district schools participating include: Dutch Fork Middle School, H. E. Corley Elementary School Leadership Magnet & Montessori Magnet, Irmo High School International School for the Arts, and Leaphart Elementary School STEAM Magnet.
“Teaching our students to be good stewards of the earth and agents of positive change is incredibly important at Irmo Middle School,” said principal Cassy Paschal. “Being honored with the School of the Year in South Carolina from Green Steps validates the hard work and dedication of our teachers and students.”
“We are humbled and grateful to receive this prestigious award and ever appreciative of district leadership for supporting the work of magnet schools,” said Dutch Fork Elementary principal Julius Scott. “I would like to express our gratitude to the business partnerships that enhance the real-world learning experiences afforded to our small scientists. Our school really does develop students who care about the world we live, and we are proud to be the first in South Carolina to receive this honor.”