Getting Support on Your Green Schools Journey

The Illinois Green Schools Project is a project-based challenge for K-12 schools to devise and implement creative no- to low-cost energy, water and waste initiatives, and sustainable practices.

Registration for the 2021-22 cohort of schools opens August 2! Explore projects from the spring 2021 cohort, view recordings from the Green Schools Webinar Series, and check out the FAQs below for more program details. More details coming soon for next school year!

How it Works:

Learn more about the Illinois Green Schools Project by checking out the Frequently Asked Questions below. Additional resources to help your school on its sustainability journey coming soon!

Why participate in the Illinois Green Schools Project?

  • Gain access to tools and support to navigate your green schools journey, no matter where your school is starting from.
  • Students, teachers, and staff work together to create healthier, sustainable learning environments.
  • Receive support and guidance from a virtual Green Schools Mentor and connect students to green building careers.
  • Connect with a network of Green Schools Champions that are sharing resources, best practices, and challenges in undertaking school sustainability initiatives.
  • Earn recognition for green schools work through an annual celebration and create a pathway for recognition in the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program.

Check out past projects and learn more about resources offered through the Illinois Green Schools Project by viewing recordings from the Green Schools Webinar Series.

What schools can participate in the Illinois Green Schools Project?

The Illinois Green Schools Project is open to K-12 schools in Illinois. Schools can participate no matter where they are on their sustainability journey, whether they are just getting started or already have green initiatives in place.

How can my school participate in the Illinois Green Schools Project?

To participate in the Illinois Green Schools Project your school will complete the registration form (Registration for the 2021-22 school year opens August 2). Each school that registers will need approval to participate from the head of school or principal prior to completing the registration.

Additionally, each Green Team is required to have one faculty, staff, or parent from the school serve as the Green Team Sponsor. This Sponsor will work together with the Green Schools Mentor and Green Team to develop and implement the school’s selected project, and submit final results to Illinois Green Alliance.

What are the key dates for the Illinois Green Schools Project?

  • Registration for the 2021-22 School Year: Opens August 2, 2021
  • Implement a Project with Mentor Support: September – April 2022
  • Illinois Green Schools Project Kick-off: More Details Coming Soon!
  • Illinois Green Schools Project Meet-ups: More Details Coming Soon!
  • Project Submission: More Details Coming Soon!
  • Celebration Event: More Details Coming Soon!

Who should participate on the Green Team?

The Green Team can be existing or new to your school. Student involvement is essential and should include a class or club of students. Additionally, each Green Team is required to have one faculty, staff, or parent from the school serve as Green Team Sponsor. This Sponsor will work together with the Green Schools Mentor and Green Team to develop and implement the school’s selected project, and submit final results to Illinois Green Alliance.

The Green Team can include and get support from other Green Schools Champions like school administration, teachers, school nurses, facility managers, custodians, food services, educational support staff, student organizations, parents, parent-teacher organizations, and community organizations engaged in the school.

Who are the Illinois Green Schools Project Mentors?

The Illinois Green Schools Project Mentors are volunteers from the Illinois Green Alliance that have sustainability and green building expertise, including architects, engineers, designers, builders, and more. Schools will be matched with Green Schools Mentors to help them select, plan, and implement a no- to low-cost sustainability project.

What is included in the final submission for the Illinois Green Schools Project?

Illinois Green Schools Project participating schools submit a short written report, impact stats, along with a visual representation to share results of the project, not limited to photos, drawings, videos or other media. Photo releases are also required along with the submission. Additional guidelines and resources for the submission process will be updated for the 2021-22 school year.

These materials will help us celebrate and highlight your school’s accomplishments during the Illinois Green Schools Project Celebration Event in April 2022.

If you have additional questions about the Illinois Green Schools Project, contact Liz Wimmer at lwimmer@illinoisgreenalliance.org.