Green Schoolhouse - GSH Series photoLesson plans in public schools across the country now include sustainability and environmental awareness but many teachers in overcrowded classrooms are having to teach green topics while in energy-draining and unhealthy portable trailers.

An innovative project called The Green Schoolhouse Series is on a mission to change that. With the help of volunteers, school officials, community members, building partners, and corporations, the project aims to build LEED platinum-designed, green schoolhouses on existing, low-income, public school campuses across the country.

Construction has begun on the first building at an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona. Millions of dollars worth of products and services combined with the efforts of 1,000 volunteers will transform the Roadrunner Elementary School over the next two months.

The Green Schoolhouse Series will donate the building to help the children, teachers, staff and community discover the health and environmental benefits of sustainability and preserving our planet’s natural resources. Much of the construction process will take about six to eight weeks with building of the physical structure set to start April 27th-29th.

17 separate studies linked significant health benefits directly to improved indoor air quality, and the benefits don’t end there. Research shows that students in healthy schools progress 26 percent faster in reading and 20 percent faster in math.

child at groundbreaking for Green Schoolhouse Green schools not only improve health and education, they also offer financial advantages. The long-term financial savings projected as a result of investing in a Green school are estimated to be 20 times the initial cost of going green, while simultaneously using 33 percent less energy and 30 percent less water.

The first three schoolhouses will be built in the Phoenix area, replacing aging portables with a permanent facility. Each schoolhouse will be used as classroom space during the school hours and after-school programs, and available to the community during evenings and weekends.

(READ a feature story in Green Living Arizona)

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