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Environmental awareness earns MVUSD, North Ridge Elementary School Green Ribbon Awards

North Ridge Elementary School and Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) will each receive a Green Ribbon award for their excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education, announced this week by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. 

“Green Ribbon schools are leading the way in resource conservation, health and wellness, and environmental literacy,” said Tom Torlakson in a news release.

The Green Ribbon Schools Award Program winners will be recognized at a dinner on May 3 in Anaheim. 

North Ridge Elementary School is a magnet school offering integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math through its curriculum. The school also has a Model Environmental Science Area, consisting of a pond, composting bins, garden beds, a greenhouse and more in an area that allows teachers to integrate instruction with the local habitat. The school also recognizes Earth Week with multiple engaging events for the students.

“We have worked tirelessly over the last few years to build a culture of conservation and care,” said North Ridge Principal Dr. Casaundra McNair. “In an environment of high academic expectations, we also implement environmental care with things as simple as turning off lights, recycling and caring for our outdoor pond and garden areas.”

MVUSD was named a California Green Ribbon District. The district’s Chief Business Official Tina Daigneault and Energy Manager Tom Welsh, from Cenergistic, collaborated to create a public/private partnership that helped MVUSD cut expected energy costs by 17.5% in two years for a savings of about $2.9 million. The program projects $19 million savings over 10 years, while helping MVUSD meet state-mandated water use reductions.

“We want to build an energy conservation culture here at Moreno Valley Unified,” said Superintendent Dr. Martinrex Kedziora. “Changing our habits, even on small levels, results in significant savings on infrastructure cost that can now be used to support student achievement.”

“As a School Board, we are very proud of the steps we are taking to become more sustainable,” said Board of Education President Susan Smith, “In the end, being more efficient with our energy allows us to be more efficient with our use of taxpayer dollars.”