New Horizon School Pasadena recognized as Green Ribbon School

By: Amira Al-Sarraf


It is with great pleasure that we announce our school’s recognition as a Green Ribbon School for our efforts in promoting environmental themes within our school program.  Although we have been featured on the Green Ribbon Schools website throughout 2011-2012, we just received the announcement from the organization that we officially achieved recognition as a Green Ribbon School. (Please see the Press Release below).


With the dedication of our innovative and green-thinking faculty and administration, our students have enjoyed a wonderful learning experience that integrates the importance of stewardship and nature appreciation into their daily school life.  Our theme of “Growing Peace One Child at a Time” continues to drive much of our work in building further opportunities forenvironmental education and STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) through the Nature Playground, garden-based projects, and our upcoming New Horizon Peace Garden, an outdoor science classroom and outreach enterprise.


The moral and financial support of our community makes such achievements possible, and we extend our deepest appreciation to each and every supporter of our school.


Green Ribbon, a reward and recognition program for K-12 students, recognized New Horizon School among 63 schools in 13 states and Guam for achieving the online community’s highest level of participation during the 2011-2012 school year. The schools recognized for their 2011-2012 leadership published at least four projects around green building, recycling, conservation, the outdoors, health, nutrition and fitness.  New Horizon projects included:


1. Eco-Campus – Lower School Nature Playground – all grades

  • Reduce-Reuse-Recycle – 1st Grade
  • Solar Oven Cookie Bake – 3rd Grade

2. Natural Classrooms – Native Plant Survey – 4th Grade 
3. Nature Adventure – Monrovia Canyon – 3rd Grade 
4. Health and FitnessThe Very Hungry Preschoolers – PS2


Additionally, in Green Ribbon Schools’ Earth Month Challenge Contest, New Horizon’s Nature Playground project was selected as a winner in the Nature Adventure Category.  The school was awarded 72 reusable Nalgene water bottles from the outdoor recreation company REI.


In Closing

As many of you may know, over the years, the school has been exploring ways to integrate the concepts of sustainability, stewardship, and appreciation for nature into the school program.   With the launching of the Nature Playground on the lower school campus in January 2012, however, such learning opportunities have expanded.  With the recognition of the playground as a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation, the school received even more visibility for its work in promoting these important themes.  In May 2012, Nickelodeon’s Big Help recognized NHS Pasadena for promoting environmental education and volunteerism and brought the cast from Nickelodeon’s “How to Rock” to the campus to work with middle school students on several garden-based projects.  We are currently in the process of designing and installing a Peace Garden on the middle school campus for use by the whole school as an outdoor science classroom and for outreach in the local community, and with continued community support, we hope to complete this important project by April 2013.



Amira Al-Sarraf, M.S. Ed. is the Head of School at New Horizon Pasadena. 


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