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WHEREAS, the Alabama State Board of Education recognizes the importance of saving energy, reducing costs, creating environmentally sustainable learning spaces, and protecting health and fostering wellness for Alabama students; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Education recognizes those schools in the nation that are striving to achieve an energy-efficient and healthy school environment with the Green Ribbon School Award; and

WHEREAS, Homewood Middle School in Homewood City Schools has been nominated for the Green Ribbon School Award for its innovation to improving its environmental impact and energy efficiency and environmental and sustainability education; and

WHEREAS, Homewood Middle School was the only Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver-certified middle school in the nation in 2008 and the first LEED-certified building in Alabama; and

WHEREAS, Homewood Middle School has positively challenged its students with a school garden to equip students to make healthy environmental decisions that balance cultural perspectives, the economy, public health and environment; and

WHEREAS, Special education students harvest herbs and vegetables, English language learners do language lessons in the garden and participate in the environmental club; while gifted and general education students study the complexities of planning and maintaining a garden; and

WHEREAS, Homewood Middle School offers a program called “the Movement,” which promotes healthy lifestyles and provides an opportunity for employees to not only improve fitness for themselves but also model wellness for students. The SOS/FIT employee wellness program started five years ago with Spin classes available for students during school and for school employees after/before school hours; and

WHEREAS, Year two of the SOS/FIT program expanded to include a systemwide employee wellness program designed to promote healthier lifestyle choices for employees in the Homewood City School System; and

WHEREAS, in 2012, Homewood Middle School teachers organized a schoolwide recycling program that taught important skills to students with special needs; and

WHEREAS, the students advertise the recycling program, work to make the program more efficient, and manage the materials that are recycled. Middle and high school recycling programs have effectively worked with local nonprofits to ensure the continuing success of the program; and

WHEREAS, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced three Alabama schools as 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Sustainability Awardees, and the schools will be recognized on July 22, 2014, in Washington D.C.; and

WHEREAS, for three years Alabama schools have been recognized by the USDE Green Ribbon Schools program: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Alabama State Board of Education commend Homewood Middle School for its commitment to environmental awareness and education and does hereby express its congratulations to the students and educators of Homewood Middle School and the Homewood City School System.

Done this 14th day of May 2014