In May, the Sixth Annual P3 Eco-Challenge Awards Ceremony was held at Long Key Nature Center in Davie. On behalf of the partners in the P3 Eco-Challenge - Broward County Public Schools, Broward County’s Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division, and the Environmental Conservation Organization, this is a brief summary of the Eco-Challenge and Recognition Ceremony.
The Broward P3 (Preserving Our Planet for Posterity) Eco-Challenge Awards is a joint effort between the School Board of Broward County, Broward County’s Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division, and the Environmental Conservation Organization of Broward County. The P3 Eco-Challenge for schools entails demonstrating participation in or implementation of different sustainability metrics based on a rubric composed of 6 comprehensive categories: School Grounds Enhancement; School Sustainability; Curriculum Integration; Community Involvement; Administrative Support; and Innovation/Special Projects. The Stewardship Recognition portion of the Challenge identifies and rewards top BCPS teachers, students, and non-instructional staff and volunteers who show evidence of promoting civic responsibility, environmental stewardship, and education of environmental issues.
Mayor Furr, a former educator, provided some brief welcoming remarks, acknowledging the hard work of the teachers and mentioned that, in the past five years, over $100,000 in cash and in-kind educational materials and programs had been awarded to schools and individuals through the P3 Eco- Challenge and looked forward to building on that success this evening. He also touched upon some of the challenges that lie ahead as we face climate change and how schools and students will be the ones to help address those challenges. Following Mayor Furr, School Board Member Laurie Rich-Levinson noted how it was great to see all of the attendees and was looking forward to recognizing their achievements this evening.
Mr. Webster then introduced Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Director of the Environmental Planning & Community Resilience Division to offer some remarks on the P3 Eco-Challenge. Dr. Jurado discussed the history of the Challenge, her reflections on how successful the partnership between the County and Broward County Public Schools has been. Dr. Jurado then introduced the Keynote Speaker, Delaney Reynolds, a freshman at the University of Miami and the founder and CEO of the Sink or Swim Project, a non-profit organization active in political advocacy and seeking solutions to advance climate change recognition and solar power.
Dr. Lisa Milenkovic, the STEM and Computer Science Supervisor introduced the Student Stewardship Awards and welcomed up all of the nominees for the elementary, middle, and high school student Stewardship awards by level, providing background on their accomplishments before announcing the winners. Winning students received checks presented by School Board Member Rich-Levinson for $250, while runner-ups received $100 and other student nominees were given $50.
Following the presentation of the student awards, members of the Environmental Conservation Organization introduced the nominees for the Educator Stewardship awards for all three grade levels. Winning teachers received checks for $500, while runner-ups received $300. All educators also received in-kind prizes, including class programs and field guides. Cash awards of $250 and $150 were also awarded to the first and second place winners in the custodial and non-instructional staff categories along with $100 to the other nominees in this category. Dr. Milenkovic then presented awards to winners of the public service announcement video contest. Awards were given to four schools for production of a thirty second public service announcement addressing water conservation. For the second year in a row, Orange Brook Elementary School was the first place winner and received a water bottle filling station for their school.
The final group of awards were in the School Category. Dr. Lisa Milenkovic introduced the school nominees by category. For the individual categories, the first place schools received checks of $500 and runner ups received $250, as well as sponsor-provided environmental programs and classroom instructional materials. The final awardees were those that applied in all categories for the distinction of being this year’s Overall Winner of the P3 Eco-Challenge. Orange Brook Elementary School continued its winning streak, receiving a check for $2,000 along with reference books for the school. This year’s runner-up was Beachside Montessori Village, which received $1,000 and classroom materials.
In all, over $35,000 was awarded in cash and in-kind prizes to schools, students, teachers, and non-instructional/volunteer support staff at the Sixth Annual P3 Eco- Challenge Recognition Ceremony.
In accordance with the sponsorship package, sponsors of the P3 Eco-Challenge have been recognized in a number of venues. On Tuesday, May 22, 2018, the partners and Platinum, Gold, and Silver sponsors of the P3 Eco-Challenge were presented with a proclamation thanking them and signed by Broward County Mayor Beam Furr at the Broward County Commission meeting. P3 Eco-Challenge tee shirts with Platinum, Gold, and Silver co-sponsor logos were provided to all attendees. As the overall winner, Orange Brook Elementary received a banner with Platinum co-sponsor logos to display on their fence.
The Sixth Annual P3 Eco-Challenge and Recognition Ceremony continues to showcase the great work being done by schools, teachers, students and staff and was a tremendous success thanks in no small part due to the generosity of its sponsors and the efforts of the P3 Eco-Challenge Planning Committee. This year’s event was truly a reflection of the enthusiasm and generosity of the many diverse sponsors and individuals who committed their time and resources to the hosting of this important event recognizing those within the school community that are promoting environmental sustainability and ensuring the long-term protection, conservation, and sustainability of our resources.
Custodial – Jorge Mendez, Hollywood Hills Elementary School
Non-Instructional – Tanya Lacasse, Griffin Elementary School
Elementary Educator – Monika Moorman, Orange Brook Elementary School
Middle Educator – Elaine Fiore, Beachside Montessori Village
High School Educator – Debra Hixon, South Broward High School
Elementary Student – Poovini Illankovan, Orange Brook Elementary School
Middle Student – Kayla Bello, Driftwood Middle Academy of Environmental Health and Wellness
High School Student – Jacob Ewert, South Plantation High School
All Categories School – Orange Brook Elementary School
Educator winners Info
Monika Moorman (Orange Brook Elementary School) and Elaine Fiore (Beachside Montessori Village [Middle School]) were first place winners in the Educator Stewardship category. Not shown is Debra Hixon (South Broward High School) who was also a winner in this category. As winners, they each received $500, special programs for their classes by Science Eye, Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital and Youth Environmental Alliance (YEA!), and other prizes. All teacher nominees received prizes.
Student winners Info
Winning students at the elementary, middle and high school levels received checks from School Board Member Laurie Rich-Levinson for $250 along with specially made bamboo plaques and other prizes. Here, Jacob Ewart (South Plantation High School), Kayla Bello (Driftwood Middle Academy) and Poovini Illankovan (Orange Brook Elementary School) pose with School Board Member Rich-Levinson along with their awards.
Overall Winning School Info
Orange Brook Elementary School was the Overall Winner. Teachers, students and staff are shown here celebrating after receiving a $2,000 check for the school.