NEA Member Benefits in Partnership with California CasualtyFor Immediate Release
Robin Freese


California Casualty Gives $5,000 to Washington Green Ribbon School


San Mateo, CA, April 30, 2020 – Each year, California Casualty, Sponsor of the Washington Green Ribbon Schools program, provides $5,000 to be shared by the Washington schools receiving Green Ribbon School status from the U.S. Department of Education.

This year, only one school received such honors: Anderson Island Elementary (AIE).

AIE is a small, remote and necessary school with only 70+ students within the Steilacoom Historical School District. Located in rural Anderson Island, Washington, the school was selected for its successes in offering effective sustainability education, reducing its environmental impact, and improving students’ overall health and wellness.

As the first school in its district to begin the eco-friendly journey, AIE has implemented efforts such as:

  • Transforming parts of the forest to an outdoor classroom, which was built with a completely green infrastructure and remains an interactive green space
  • Restoring their local creek, building up the ecosystem by raising and releasing salmon each year
  • Working together closely to ensure that their curriculum is aligned to environmental and sustainability concepts, and engaging students in that work so they too can strive to be greener each and every day
  • Reducing the amount of garbage that they produced on a daily basis and revamping their recycling program
  • Building and maintaining a garden that provides food for their students seasonally

To reach Green Ribbon School status, the districts and schools had to demonstrate progress in three key pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Reduce environmental impacts and costs
  • Pillar 2: Improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff
  • Pillar 3: Provide effective environmental and sustainability education, incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); civic skills and green career pathways

The complete application from Anderson Island Elementary School to the U.S. Department of Education for 2021 Green Ribbon Schools consideration is available online at Applications are screened by state education agencies, who submit nominees to the U.S. Department of Education.

California Casualty Assistant Vice President, Brian Goodman, presented the $5,000 award virtually along with Debbie Harris, California Casualty Vice President and Senior Field Marketing Manager Erica Reich, during the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) Earth Day Recognition event. Annually, OSPI’s Science, Environment, and Sustainability Department hosts a recognition event for program honorees.

During the presentation Brian shared, “We’re continually impressed with our Washington Green Ribbon Schools. We are honored to support this important initiative, and congratulate Anderson Island for achieving this commendable status.”

Anderson Island Elementary Principal, Susan Greer, said, “I think we just bought ourselves a greenhouse!” when Brian announced the $5,000 award from California Casualty.

About U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Green Strides
Created in 2011, the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) award encourages state education, health, and environment authorities, stakeholders, and school communities to consider matters of facilities, health and environment comprehensively, strengthening the critical collaborations that ensure all of our nation's schools are healthier, safer, and more sustainable.

In early 2013, the Green Strides website was added to connect all school communities with free, publicly-available resources such as webinars, case studies, promising practices and collaboration so that all schools can make progress across every Pillar of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award.

In 2015, to offer a more dynamic and user-friendly web portal, Green Strides was moved off of through the generous assistance of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.

About California Casualty
Founded in 1914, California Casualty has been providing educators trusted auto and home insurance since 1951. As the endorsed benefit partner for NEA Member Benefits in Washington since 2001, California Casualty offers members exceptional rates, waived deductibles for vandalism or collisions to your vehicle parked at school, holiday or summer skip payment options and free Identity Defense protection. Learn how to save by getting a quote at, or by calling 1.800.800.9410.

Washington Green Ribbon School Award