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                                      GEF offers free K-12 sustainability education
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1-21-13: Green Education Foundation (GEF) Kicks Off National Green Week 2013

K-12 sustainability education and programming sponsored by Sprint

January 21, 2013 –The Green Education Foundation, a non-profit committed to creating a sustainable future through education, has announced it will kick off its fifth annual National Green Week program on February 4. Green Week is the largest K-12 sustainability education campaign in in the country and this year will get support from wireless communications provider Sprint, ranks #3 among the 500 greenest companies in America on Newsweek’s Green Rankings. Green Week is designed to empower school administrators and teachers to actively engage their students on the importance of environmental protection and sustainability through GEF’s free lesson plans, activities, audits, contests and more. Participating schools and classrooms are encouraged to take advantage of these tools from February 4 through the end of Earth Month (April 30), during which time schools, classrooms, and youth groups can choose any week to be their own Green Week.

GEF and Sprint will work together to pursue shared values regarding sustainability education and student empowerment through the Green Week program. Victoria Waters, GEF’s CEO, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled that Sprint has chosen to support National Green Week. Sustainability is gaining traction in K-12 schools as student interest in leading a sustainable lifestyle matures and the availability of green jobs continues to increase. We are proud that National Green Week is the pioneering program for sustainability education.”

Through Green Week, GEF and Sprint will encourage educators and youth group leaders to spend time with students discussing sustainability topics and exploring ways they can make a difference. Furthermore, by offering free sustainability lessons and teaching tools, the companies will equip educators with real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math (STEM) education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems for use during Green Week and beyond.

“Commitment to sustainability is a core part of our business strategy and we’re honored to partner with the Green Education Foundation to give schools, and students, the tools they need to better understand environmental impacts,” said Ralph Reid, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. “We believe it’s important to enable K-12 programming that promotes meaningful environmental improvements.”

Participants in Green Week select a sustainability theme to focus on in 2013. Each of GEF’s six themes includes all the free resources and tools necessary for a successful Green Week initiative. Sustainability themes include the Sustainable Water Challenge, Green Energy Challenge, Waste Reduction Challenge, I Ride Green, Green Building Program, and the Green Thumb Challenge.

Participants are encouraged to chronicle their Green Week initiatives to use as application for a GEF Green in Action award. Award winners are those schools, classrooms, or youth groups who have demonstrated their commitment, creativity, or passion for sustainability in their application. Winners receive $250 and will be featured in national news and on GEF’s website.

To join the largest K-12 sustainability education campaign, visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org and sign up for Green Week for free.

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About Green Education Foundation (GEF)

Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a non-profit organization committed to creating a sustainable future through education. Sustainability education provides educators with the real-world applied learning models that connect science, technology, and math education with the broader human concerns of environmental, economic, and social systems. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging them to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions.

Become a member for free to gain full access to GEF’s comprehensive library of standards-based lessons and activities at www.greeneducationfoundation.org. Join the sustainability education conversation by following GEF on Twitter @greenedufdn and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greenedufoundation.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served nearly 56 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint No. 1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved, across all 47 industries, during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in both its 2011 and 2012 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About the Sprint Foundation
Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has provided more than $110 million to community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on those supporting K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint's commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.

Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Download, share, and comment on hundreds of sustainability lessons in GEF's K-12 lesson clearinghouse! Find the right lesson, activity or audit for your students by searching by grade level and subject area. Access is unlimited and free to GEF members!

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Visit GEF Institute's website to find online, sustainability-focused professional development courses. Earn a certificate or simply take a course for academic or professional development credits through the Institute's partnering university.

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