IRMO, S.C. — A Green Ribbon School is one that shows "21st century excellence." Dutch Fork Elementary is the first South Carolina school to be given this prestigious honor. 

“It just means a lot to us as an environmental science school," DFES Principal Julius Scott told us. "More than 6 years ago when we first became a magnet school our thought process was we wanted to have a school that people would come near and far to say ‘here’s what’s possible with environmental education inside public schools.' We’ve been able to accomplish that.”

To be given the title Green Ribbon School, you have to have these three pillars according to the U.S. Department of Education's website.

  1. Reduce environmental impact and costs;
  2. Improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and
  3. Provide effective environmental and sustainability education

Regarding these pillars, Scott tells us, “So as a school, these things really fall in line with what we already do. So it wasn’t a matter of we had to come up or try to create some things simply to apply for an award. It already matched who we were.”

students
DFES 3rd graders researching endangered animals.
WLTX

Dutch Fork Elementary does a variety of projects throughout the year involving their student scientist in composting, gardening, used book sales and raising money for community organizations among a long list of others. 

RELATED: Dutch Fork Elementary students doing their part for the environment — selling compost

"We’ve heard this often: ‘because of my child and because of what you all are teaching, our practices at home have been influenced.’ You just think, man that’s pretty impressive," says Scott. 

Keep up the great work DFES!

If you have any story ideas or information on things happening around town, contact us at StreetSquad@wltx.com or tweet us using the hashtag #StreetSquad19.