Arcado Elementary receives national honor

LILBURN — Already well-known for its efforts related to environmental issues, Arcado Elementary was honored again on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded Arcado as a 2014 Green Ribbon Schools Sustainability award winner. Arcado was honored along with High Meadows, a private school in Roswell.

The schools are being honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, and promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.

“We are so proud that two Georgia schools have been named National Green Ribbon Schools,” State School Superintendent John Barge said in a press release. “Our schools continue to strive at being more energy efficient, providing environmental education, and promoting healthier lifestyles for students.”

The schools will split $10,000 in award prize money from the Captain Planet Foundation and Turner Foundation for demonstrating energy efficiency efforts.

Arcado’s environmental education committee began in the early 1990s, and has worked closely with students, teachers, and the Parent Teacher Association.

Each year the number of applicants for the school’s Green Team at the fourth grade level continues to grow. This school year, 70 fourth graders completed applications for 25 positions. Among the tasks the Green Team does are recycle classroom paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, ink jet cartridges, plastic six-pack rings, cell phones, laptops, and tablets.

It also has a school garden that grows mint and herbs. The school also uses reusable sandwich bags, utensils and napkins and promotes an anti-idling campaign.

In August, Arcado hosted district and state leaders after Gwinnett County Public Schools was named a Green Ribbon School District.