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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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October 3, 2011 – Green Education Foundation (GEF) is pleased to announce the pilot launch of the Green Building Program. This program provides teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to bring green building principles and hands-on learning to their classrooms and communities. During the pilot phase, GEF is offering the course free of charge to qualified participants.

The Green Building Course, sponsored in part by American Standard, is a one semester science elective for 11 and 12 grade classes. It is aligned with National Science Education and Teaching standards, and uses in-depth, hands-on audits and activities for each unit to enhance learning and comprehension. All materials, including textbook, teachers manual, assessments, and more, are housed in an online database accessible through any internet connection and PDF viewer. Thanks to the generous funding from American Standard, the companies’ shared values regarding water conservation and student empowerment are being addressed through this course offering.

The Green Building Course is currently being piloted at more than 10 schools across the nation. According to Justin Benz, a teacher implementing the course at Hodgson Technical High School, the course “is a perfect fit for what I teach and will provide even more opportunities to integrate with the different construction trades classes at my school.”

In exchange for the opportunity to participate in the pilot at no charge, schools supply GEF with feedback from teacher and student perspectives. These insights are used to further improve and adjust the course to meet the needs of educators across the country. To complete the pilot phase, GEF is seeking up to 50 schools to implement all or part of the curriculum and provide feedback. More information about the pilot course is available on the website or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The course and accompanying audit are aligned with U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) guidelines for what constitutes green building construction according to their LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. GEF was the K-12 sector partner for USGBC 2010 Greenbuild.

School as a Teaching Tool
This program is an extension, to be used in conjunction with or independently, of the Green Building Course that investigates the relationship between the built environment, human ecology, and natural ecology. Curriculum is available in three grade-level sets: k-2, 3-5, and 6-8. All materials are provided free of charge and include lessons plans, pacing guides, highly visual supplements, and engaging characters.

Linda Cato, teacher and expert contributor for the program explains that the curriculum “allows teachers and students the opportunity to explore big issues such as sustainability, green building, and green ‘action’ through the observation and investigation of the built environment. The lessons are hands-on and project-based, are cross-curricular, and meet national standards in the core areas.” You can read more about the curriculum and how to get involved in the pilot program on GEF’s website.

Save the Dates
GEF’s flagship program, National Green Week, is set to launch on February 6-12, 2012, but schools can participate during any week up until Earth Day on April 22. Schools and groups are encouraged to take this opportunity to spend time with students discussing environmental issues and specifically what they can do to make a difference.

About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
GEF is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF offers free school programs that provide curricula and hands-on activities to excite and inspire K-12 students and teachers to think holistically about global environmental solutions. Our mission is to empower a new generation of environmental stewards while preparing them for the new 21st century clean energy economy. Visit to become a member.

About American Standard Brands
American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. For more information, visit

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

Online Professional Development

Visit GEF Institute's website to find online, sustainability-focused professional development courses. Earn a certificate or simply take a course for academic or professional development credits through the Institute's partnering university.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

Mahatma Gandhi