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Two CPS schools honored for being ‘green’

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. FILE PHOTO  | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. FILE PHOTO | John H. White~Chicago Sun-Times.

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Two Chicago public schools — one a neighborhood school, the other a charter — were among 78 across the country named Monday as the first nationally-recognized “Green Ribbon Schools.’’

Waters Elementary in Lincoln Square and the Academy for Global Citizenship Charter School in Garfield Ridge were honored by the U.S. Department of Education for their efforts in environmental, energy conservation and wellness education.

At the Academy for Global Citizenship, students start the day with up to 15 minutes of yoga and a scratch, organic breakfast.

“Health and nutrition are incorporated into our core philosophy,’’ said Academy executive director Sarah Elizabeth Ippel.

Some 13,000 square feet of asphalt that surrounds the school has been converted into an “urban center for sustainability’’ featuring a green house, an organic raised-bed garden, a composting bin, a wind turbine and a chicken coop that produces eggs, Ippel said.

At Waters Elementary, every classroom has its own garden bed for fruits and vegetables, and its own recycling captain, said Principal Titia Crespo. The school offers a daily lunchtime salad bar, a lunchroom composting system and ecology across all subjects.

The 1911 schooolhouse was reconstructed to become the first certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) school in Illinois.

Chicago Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard praised the two schools Monday for “instilling a heightened sense of environmental consciousness.’’

Also winning a Green Ribbon Award was the Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake.

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