The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has chosen the 2015 recipients of its school district scholarship program. The five selected school districts will receive ongoing support from the Center for Green Schools over the course of the next year and will benefit from connections with a broad network of school sustainability leaders.

“This year’s school district scholarship recipients are truly deserving of the recognition and support this program provides,” said Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “In the coming year, these districts will benefit from professional development opportunities, increased exposure to the vast network of other school districts striving toward the same goals, and the chance to grow with support from the Center for Green Schools. They know that where we learn matters and they are devoted to creating schools that are healthy, that complement curricula, and that engage students every day.”

Districts were selected based on the merits of their applications to the Center for Green Schools, and each has assigned at least one half-time staff person to work on sustainability programs and strategies. Throughout the coming year, these district representatives will learn from each other. Using their experiences from disparate regions of the country, they will come together to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. The scholarship for all five districts is funded through the Center for Green Schools, thanks to a sponsorship from United Technologies Corp.

Scholarship recipients include:

• Salt Lake City Public Schools in Salt Lake City

• Parkway Public Schools near St. Louis

• Kansas City Public Schools in Kansas City

• Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, CA

• Detroit Public Schools in Detroit, MI

Specific benefits available to scholarship recipients include participation in the Center for Green School’s School Sustainability Leaders Summit, an annual event that convenes staff responsible for sustainability programs at school districts of all sizes throughout the country, giving them access to resource conservation and energy managers, facilities directors, and other industry experts. Scholarship recipients are also fully funded for travel to the annual Greenbuild Conference and Expo and ongoing professional development support.

“These school districts have the opportunity to create sustainable learning spaces that, as studies show, can have a positive effect on both building energy efficiency and student learning,” said John Mandyck, UTC chief sustainability officer. “Their work will foster improved environmental literacy among students, helping to inspire a future generation of sustainability leaders.”