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Old Mill honored for energy conservation

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  MOUNT WASHINGTON - A focus on energy conservation earned Old Mill Elementary School students a state award last month.

Fourth grade teacher Meagan Moreman is the school’s energy team sponsor. She and her students were among 26 Kentucky schools receiving awards at the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools - Kentucky National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project Youth Summit and Awards luncheon in Frankfort.  

Old Mill was awarded a School in Progress plaque for completing three projects. Also earning these awards were Tichenor Middle School of Kenton County and Notre Dame Academy of Jefferson County.

Old Mill’s energy team is composed of fourth and fifth graders. Mrs. Moreman said they meet twice a month and follow the energy watchdog manual by doing audits.

“We have also been involved in the Green and Healthy Schools program,” she said. “We have moved from a candidate green school to a school in progress. To do this the students had to complete inventories on the school like how water is used, how we use electricity, or our school’s solid waste, to name a few.”

Once the audit was complete, the students made a corresponding project.

“For us, the students began recycling Capri Sun pouches and glue sticks,” Mrs. Moreman said. “We have also started an adopt-a-plant program where each classroom adopts a plant for improved indoor air quality.”

District Energy Manager Andrea Rock praised Mrs. Moreman and her students on their accomplishment.

“Old Mill was one of the first schools to participate in our Energy Watchdog Program and they do a great job,” she said. “The Energy Watchdog Program ties in nicely to the Kentucky Green and Healthy Schools Program and I’m excited that they are gaining state recognition for all their work.”

The fourth annual event recognized students that participate in the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools (KGHS) program and the Kentucky NEED Project. First Lady Jane Beshear addressed event attendees via video message and Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Joseph U. Meyer was the keynote speaker.

More than 200 schools across Kentucky participate in the KGHS program, which started in 2007. Staff and students in the program implement efficiency and environmental sustainability projects at their schools in nine areas: energy, indoor air quality, green spaces, hazardous chemicals, water, health and nutrition, transportation, solid waste, and instructional leadership. 

“In its fourth successful year, the Kentucky Green & Healthy Schools program enrollment has grown to over 200 schools and it continues to build momentum. It’s exciting to see students and faculty from elementary through high school learn about and improve their own health and the sustainability of their environment,” said Meyer.

More than 30 Kentucky schools participated in the summit this year.

“Many of the schools took advantage of grants made available through KGHS this year by federal stimulus funding from the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence. This grant program has funded 38 energy saving projects at schools across Kentucky so far, and funding is available through the spring of 2012 unless available funds are disbursed sooner,” said Elizabeth Schmitz, executive director of the Kentucky Environmental Education Council.

The Kentucky Environmental Education Council is an agency in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. For more information about KGHS, visit www.greenschools.ky.gov or call 1-800-882-5271.

Bullitt County Public Schools has nearly 13,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 850 and a classified staff of over 850 working every school day to make the district the leader in educational excellence.