Lakewood Catholic Academy has received the prestigious 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School award. The Catholic elementary school in the Diocese of Cleveland is one of only 45 in the nation, and only one in Ohio, to be honored for its innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
Lakewood Catholic Academy received the award based on a number of programs involving students. Lakewood Refuse and Recycle inspired students to begin a program at LCA which has reduced garbage schoolwide by 20%. The staff also hosts waste-free lunches in the dining hall.
A partnership with Drink Local/Drink Tap teaches about clean drinking water and a fundraising walk raised money for clean-water wells in Uganda. The school also used an Ohio education grant for sampling, testing and replacement of drinking fountains, water coolers and plumbing fixtures that may have elevated levels of lead.
“Lakewood Catholic Academy is proud to receive this national recognition, but more importantly, we are proud of our students and educators who are passionate about caring for God’s creation in thoughtful and innovative ways,” said Brian Sinchak, Lakewood Catholic Academy president.
The school uses nearby Lakewood Park on Lake Erie for science and environmental studies. It partnered with the Cleveland Metroparks to learn more about Monarch butterfly migration and used a grant to build a Monarch waystation on the northern edge of its property.
“This is a tremendous honor and reflects the hard work of faculty and students in creating a more environmentally friendly campus,” said Christopher Knight, superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Cleveland. “I congratulate everyone involved as we prepare this generation for the challenges of the 21st century.”
Lakewood Catholic Academy was founded in 2005 and serves students in preschool through eighth grade. The school is a member of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese and is located in Lakewood, Ohio.