As my toddler son grows, I’ve become intrigued by the outdoor and forest preschool movement. In fact, so convinced have I become of the benefits of outdoor play and learning at his age that I’ve made a point to get Íñigo out every day of his first two years — swimming, hiking, running, biking, camping, climbing, and skiing. There’s not a day or a temperature at which I don’t bundle him up and get him out, and Íñigo absolutely loves it.
This is just one of many reasons I’m especially thrilled to share that we’ll conduct a fourth iteration of the Green Strides Tour, which spotlights our U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools honorees’ work, this year to Georgia, and focused on the importance of outdoor learning.
As background, U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) and its Green Strides outreach initiative share promising practices and resources in the areas of safe, healthy, and sustainable school environments; nutrition and outdoor physical activity; and environmental and sustainability education. To bring additional attention to honorees’ practices, ED-GRS has conducted a Green Strides Tour since 2013, allowing schools, school districts, and postsecondary institutions to share their work with community leaders and policymakers and celebrate their achievements.
The following is the tentative tour schedule for this September’s tour in the state of Georgia. Updates will be shared through our newsletter.
8:15 a.m.—9:45 a.m. Pharr Elementary School, 1500 North Rd, Snellville, GA 30078
10:15 a.m.—11:15 a.m. Mason Elementary School, 3030 Bunten Rd, Duluth, GA 30096
12:00 p.m. —1:30 p.m. High Meadows School, 1055 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA 30075
2:30 p.m.—4 p.m. Ford Elementary School, 1345 Mars Hill Rd NW, Acworth, GA 30101
8:15 a.m.—9:15 a.m. Morningside Elementary School, 1053 E Rock Springs Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
9:20 a.m.—10:20 a.m. The Paideia School, 1509 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307
10:35 a.m.—11:45 a.m. Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School, 688 Grant St SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
12:00 p.m.—3:30 p.m. Georgia Institute of Technology, North Ave. Atlanta, GA 30332
All are welcome to join the tour. Past participants have included federal, state and local agency officials and elected officers, such as governors, state legislators, mayors and city council members. Members of the press are also invited to attend and amplify honorees’ promising efforts, many of which leverage free resources that are available to all interested parties. Moreover, neighboring schools, districts and colleges and universities are invited to come and learn from the examples on the tour.
This year we’ll be focusing on how schools are teaching effective environmental education, stewardship and civic values through learning outside school walls, using experience to breathe life into standards, in addition to making positive contributions to our communities and planet.
Visitors will see how innovative outdoor learning in its many forms — from school gardens, to field studies, to citizen science and forest schools — provides opportunities to expand traditional learning into the real world to create real change for the betterment of our society and the environment.
I look forward to meeting many representatives who are just beginning their green schools journey and to celebrating the school communities that we have already honored with our award. With a little elbow-grease, strong partnerships, resourcefulness and leadership, I’m confident that I’ll have the opportunity to read about visitors in a coming awards cycle of ED-GRS.
Come prepared to get a little dirty with us while learning outdoors!
Andrea Suarez Falken is Director of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and Facilities, Health, and Environment Liaison at the U.S. Department of Education.
The post Join Education ‘Taking Learning Outside’ on the 2017 Green Strides Tour! appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
If you have a defaulted federal student loan owned by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), immediately contact ED’s Default Resolution Group. They will help you figure out the best way to resolve the default based on your individual circumstance.
If you didn’t make payments on your federal student loans and are now in default, don’t get discouraged. It may seem like an overwhelming situation, but you have multiple options for getting out of default. Remember, it’s in your best interest to act quickly to resolve the default, because the consequences of default can be severe.
Default Resolution Group
1-877-825-9923 TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing
You have three options for getting out of default: loan rehabilitation, loan consolidation, or repayment in full.1. Loan Rehabilitation
To rehabilitate most defaulted federal student loans, you must sign an agreement to make a series of nine monthly payments over a period of 10 consecutive months. The monthly payment amount you’ll be offered will be based on your income, so it should be affordable. In fact, your monthly payment under a loan rehabilitation agreement could be as low as $5! Each payment must be made within 20 days of the due date.
Note: You can rehabilitate a defaulted loan only once.2. Loan Consolidation
Loan consolidation allows you to pay off your defaulted federal student loans by consolidating (combining) your loans into a new Direct Consolidation Loan.
To consolidate a defaulted federal student loan into a new Direct Consolidation Loan, you must either
- agree to repay the new Direct Consolidation Loan under an income-driven repayment plan or
- make three consecutive, voluntary, on-time, full monthly payments on the defaulted loan before you consolidate it.
Repayment in full is exactly as it sounds; you can repay the full amount that you owe at any time.
We understand that repayment in full is not a viable option for most people. If that’s the case, you should focus on deciding between loan rehabilitation and loan consolidation.Comparing the Benefits You Regain After Rehabilitation and Consolidation
Now that you have a better understanding of what rehabilitation and consolidation are, you can determine which option is best for you. Once your loan has successfully been removed from default, you will regain eligibility for certain benefits, depending on whether you chose rehabilitation or consolidation. Loan Rehabilitation Loan Consolidation Regained eligibility for deferment, forbearance, and loan forgiveness Yes Yes Regained eligibility for additional federal student aid Yes Yes Choice of repayment plans Yes Yes (but there may be limitations—see below**) Removal of the record of default from your credit history Yes (but see below*) No
*If you rehabilitate a defaulted loan, the record of the default will be removed from your credit history. However, your credit history will still show late payments that were reported by your loan holder before the loan went into default. If you consolidate a defaulted loan, the record of the default (as well as late payments reported before the loan went into default) will remain in your credit history.
**Unless you make three voluntary, on-time, full monthly payments on a defaulted loan before you consolidate it, your choice of repayment plans for the new Direct Consolidation Loan will be limited to one of the income-driven repayment plans. If you make three voluntary, on-time, full monthly payments before consolidating, you can choose from any of the repayment plans available to Direct Consolidation Loan borrowers.Staying Out of Default
There are a number of things you can do to keep yourself on track and out of default:1. Enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.
If you haven’t already, you should consider enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan. Learn more about income-driven plans.2. Consider setting up automatic payments.
Sign up for automatic debit through your loan servicer, and monthly payments will automatically be made from your bank account. You may also get a 0.25% interest rate deduction just for enrolling.3. Track your loans online.
Log in to “My Federal Student Aid” to find information about all of your federal student loans.4. Keep good records.
It’s helpful to keep important documents such as records of monthly payments, payment schedules, and notes about phone calls to your loan servicer in an organized file.5. Stay in touch with your loan servicer.
As soon as you think that you’ll have trouble making your monthly payment, contact your loan servicer to discuss your situation—they are there to help you. Additionally, if you enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan, your loan servicer will let you know when it’s time to recertify your income and family size.