The Green Schools Fellowship and Scholarship Program

Published on: 
29 Jun 2015

The Green Schools Fellowship Program selects, trains and supports school district sustainability staff who implement strategies to reduce resource use and emissions, improve school occupant health, and teach students about the global environment.

Sustainability staff within school districts are proven leaders and change-makers. Research indicates that the condition of school environments directly affects the health and well-being of everyone inside. And, beyond human factors, the cost of energy and water in school buildings day in and day out has become more than many overburdened school districts can handle. The success of sustainability efforts in our school districts is crucial to the well-being of millions of children and adults. Supporting the staff who make sustainability their job can support an entire system of positive action at a school district.

Green Schools Fellowship

The Center for Green Schools (Center) places three-year sustainability directors in school districts through the Fellowship Program. Since 2008, the program has been successful in bringing green practices to school systems that want to make the case, through proven results, for staff capacity to address sustainability.

School District Scholarship

Existing school district staff who allocate at least 50% of their time to sustainability-related work are eligible for scholarships from the Center, which allows them access to professional development, targeted education and technical support.

Program impact

As demonstrated through the work of current and previous Green Schools Fellowships, sustainability staff bring direct benefits to the school districts in the form of positive community relations, sponsorships and grants, contract expertise, program implementation, and staff training. A Fellow can be expected to bring in more than $500,000 in sponsorships, grants, and donated services to the school district he or she serves during the Fellowship tenure.

To apply

The application period for School District Scholarships are open each summer for two months. The online application is released through an article on the Center for Green Schools web site each year.

The application to host a Green Schools Fellowship begins with a Letter of Interest from school district leadership. The Letter of Interest informs the Center for Green Schools about whether the district would be a good fit to host a Fellow. If the district is deemed a good fit, Center staff will begin work, coordinating with the school district, to raise the funds to support the Fellow’s work.

The program typically focuses on school districts with at least 15,000 students enrolled (though exceptions are made) as well as an existing, demonstrated commitment to sustainability.

Letters should be on school district letterhead, signed by a senior level district official, and no longer than 1,000 words. Please include the following information and email to schools@usgbc.org:

  • Demonstration of need
  • Evidence of high-level commitment to greening the district
  • Suggested initiatives to be focused on by the Fellow
  • Supervisory capability of the district
  • Designated point of contact