The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the recipients of its Green Apple Day of Service Awards. The awards recognize the efforts of K-12 sustainability service learning projects and leaders. The awards were presented at the Green Schools Conference and Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This year’s global recipients include Guatemala Green Apple Day – ABC Project, Tilling the Common Ground in Connecticut, and Drop After Drop, Let’s Fill Up the Reservoir of Life in Italy.

“This year, it was important for us to showcase the diverse ways that Green Apple Day of Service is engaging students and empowering them to make a difference in their local communities,” said Anisa Heming, director, Center for Green Schools at USGBC. “Our winning projects represent individual leaders, business partners, and of course whole school communities. There is certainly no one way to teach sustainability or civic responsibility, and we are so inspired by how these project teams were able to get students to consider their local and global impact.”

In its second year, the Green Apple Day of Service Awards honored teams across the world that aimed to inspire their communities to cultivate a greater sense of environmental and social stewardship. New this year, the awards were categorized into three distinct categories: depth of student and community transformation (Deep Impact); creativity in application (Creative Approach); and scale of community engagement (Broad Engagement):

Guatemala Green Apple Day - ABC Project (Guatemala City, Guatemala) – Deep Impact Project: The Guatemala Green Business Council, in partnership with the Luz Figueroa Guillén School of Guatemala City, introduced sustainability education and improved the school building’s infrastructure to enable more physical activity, better air quality, and waste reduction. As a result, the Luz Figueroa Guillén School has become a model for other under-served public schools in Guatemala.

Tilling the Common Ground (New Haven, Connecticut) – Creative Approach Project: A speed-networking event hosted by Common Ground, an environmental high school urban farm and education center. Students had the opportunity to engage one-on-one with sustainability professionals about their interests, encouraging career exploration through personal connection.

Drop After Drop, Let’s Fill Up the Reservoir of Life! (Rome, Chieti and Pescara, Italy) – Broad Engagement Project: A series of projects led by students across Italy coordinated in collaboration with Su18Pescara and Green Building Council Italia. Each project incorporated a classroom learning opportunity and empowered students to engage communities through public presentations and events. Their model serves as a template for teaching environmental topics and exercising civic responsibility through real-world application.