5 western Massachusetts schools honored for environmental education

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BOSTON (WWLP) – Several western Massachusetts school districts are “going green.” On Monday, five local schools were honored with “Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education” awards at the State House.

Agawam, Charlemont, Chicopee, and Williamsburg schools were each honored. They will receive between $100 and $400.

Students will benefit from funding for energy and environmental protection programs, such as recycling. Many of these lessons are not offered in the standard curriculum.

Pope Francis High School in Chicopee received a $200 award for their oceanography and Earth science program. Senior Zachary Rattell told 22News that he plans to continue studying these topics in college as an environmental science major.

“All these systems, we need to take care of them, and if we don’t, bad things could happen,” Rattell said.

“If we don’t teach our kids early on the importance of why we need to protect our environment, they’re never going to grow up to want to protect it,” Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton said.

You can nominate your child’s school for an award at the website of the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

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