The Patrick Henry Post

Special Edition: National Green Ribbon School Announcement

Congratulations, Patrick Henry!

Big picture

Patrick Henry Named a US Department of Education NATIONAL GREEN RIBBON SCHOOL!

Earth Day, 2023 came with a very special announcement for the students, staff, and community members of Patrick Henry Elementary in St. Louis Public Schools: We have been named the first school in St. Louis City history to be a Green Ribbon School!!! This is a national recognition that comes from the United States Department of Education, and it is a lifetime achievement award, meaning our school can only win it once and we will always be a National Green Ribbon School.

Patrick Henry won this recognition because of achievement in three categories:

  1. Sustainability - We not only have to be a sustainable school building and system in our community, but we also have to educate our students on sustainability practices that they can take with them into their futures.
  2. Environmentalism - We have to reduce harmful practices to our environment and change the way our school runs through internal and external improvements and environmentally-sound practices in our utilities, buildings and grounds practices, and school practices.
  3. Healthy Initiatives - We have to provide the healthiest school community for our students, staff, families, and neighbors both for physical and mental well-being.

Take a look below at Secretary of Education Cardona's explanation of what it means to be a National Green Ribbon School!

Secretary Cardona Announces the 2023 ED Green Ribbon Schools

History of the Green Ribbon School Award

Since 2012, only 16 schools and 2 school districts have been awarded the National Green Ribbon School recogition from the state of Missouri. A few fun facts:

  • Patrick Henry is the 19th school from Missouri to ever win this award
  • Patrick Henry is the only school to win this award from the state of Missouri in 2023
  • Patrick Henry is the first school in St. Louis City to ever win the award
  • Patrick Henry is the first urban school from the state of Missouri to ever win this award
  • In 2023, only 41 schools or districts won this award across the entire country, and Patrick Henry is one of them!

How Did Patrick Henry Become a National Green Ribbon School?

Pillar 1: Reduced Environmental Impact and Costs

Patrick Henry has added several measures to decrease our impact on the environment. Our physical structure is 116 years old, and we are an historic building of St. Louis, so we have many challenges in upgrading our building to meet higher environmental standards while protecting the historical value of our building, which was designed by Architect William Ittner. Since 2020, Patrick Henry has used Energy Star Portfolio Manager and utility websites to track gas, water, and electricity usage for the building. The following measures have preserved the integrity of the design of the school while decreasing our impact on the environment:

Pillar 2: Improved Health and Wellness of Students and Staff

Over the past two school years, Patrick Henry Downtown Academy has been nationally recognized as one of America’s Healthiest Schools by The Alliance for a Healthier Generation because of our efforts in this area. The 63106 zip code has a high occurrence of public health concerns, and our students are not immune to these difficulties. We have our students for at least 7 hours every day, and we make a concentrated effort to make those hours as healthy as possible within the confines of our control.

Pillar 3: Effective Environmental and Sustainability Education and Initiatives

Starting in 2018, Patrick Henry students have been involved in environmental, sustainability, nutrition, and garden education. These classes come in several forms and at many times throughout the year, including Physical Education and Health class, nutrition classes through the University of Missouri Extension Program, Garden Class, and Harvest Festival. Our efforts to educate our students are listed below:

What's Next for Patrick Henry?

Celebration #1: Earth Day in Forest Park, April 22nd

Come join us in Forest Park where we will be presented with our award by Mayor Tishaura Jones during the Forest Park Earth Day Festival! Our award will be presented on the main stage at 1:40pm.
Big picture

Celebration #2: Mayor Jones at Patrick Henry, May 3rd

Come join us behind the school in our garden for a celebration of our students' and staff members' achievements from 1:00-2:30pm. Mayor Tishaura Jones will come to Patrick Henry and meet the students in person - what a thrill for our students to meet the first female, Black Mayor of St. Louis! We will present our students with trophies, snacks, and fun activities to celebrate their accomplishments and give them a fantastic, fun-filled afternoon!

All parents and community partners are welcome to attend!

Big picture


Kool & The Gang - Celebration