SMCOE Earns Green Ribbon Award for its Continued Commitment to Environmental Literacy

Redwood City, CA–The California Department of Education (CDE) California Green Ribbon Award logoawarded the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) a Green Ribbon Award for its efforts to promote resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. SMCOE was the only County Office in the state to receive recognition as part of the Green Ribbon Awards program. Award recipients will be recognized at the California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony in Anaheim on April 5.

SMCOE received the Bronze or “Entry Level” award for its Environmental Literacy Initiative, which embraces a whole-school approach to integrate sustainability within a school campus including operations, curriculum and instruction, community programs and partnerships, and overall school culture. 

The initiative engages students, educators, and community partners with teachers at the core of the effort. For example, the San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative (SMELC) Teacher Fellowship Program has supported more than 250 teachers to develop solutions-focused units of study. Other programs within the initiative include the Environmental Literacy Community of Practice, which brings educators and community partners together to network, problem solve, and exchange innovative sustainable solutions; the One Planet Schools Challenge, which offers schools and districts a pathway towards becoming a Green Ribbon school; and the Environmental Youth Leaders Network, which inspires, educates, and empowers local students to improve their community's sustainability efforts.

Green Ribbon Award applicants receive one of four levels of achievement, from Bronze to Green Achievers, according to their progress in three areas or "pillars." The pillars include reducing environmental impact and costs; improving health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and providing effective cross-disciplinary environmental education and green career pathways.

“We are honored to receive the Green Ribbon Award for the second year in a row,” shared San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. “The award recognizes our commitment to sustainability, both within the County Office of Education and in schools and districts across San Mateo County. We will continue to deepen our programs and efforts.”

For more information on SMCOE’s Environmental Literacy Initiative, contact Andra Yeghoian at or 650-802-5406.

A teacher demonstrates an experiment

A class studies soil




The San Mateo County Office of Education is committed to ensuring excellence and equity in education by inspiring students, investing in teachers, invigorating leaders, and involving communities.

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