A recognition program for environmentally focused students who achieve extraordinary impact in schools and communities. Students are awarded pins and certificates for recognition of their hours of service. Seniors can achieve a graduation stole by completing a capstone project.

Start a Chapter

Project Green Schools provides a structured chapter-based program for high-achieving, environmentally focused students to create extraordinary impact in schools, organizations, and communities while getting the recognition they deserve on a state and national level. The program develops bright, civic-minded, environmentally literate citizens. By establishing a chapter in your school, students in grades K through 12 will advance their passion for preserving the environment through environmental service projects, leadership, and activism. 100-300 Green Student Leaders [Gr K-12] are recognized annually for their accomplishments in the form of National Green Schools Society Certificates, Pins [Bronze, Silver, Gold], and Honor stoles based on their accomplishments with this nationally-recognized program.

Essentially, this is the formula:

  • Your school or organization completes an application to start a chapter. In filling out an application, you are also offered the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund your chapter. PGS has raised funds to support chapter creation on behalf of schools. Once reviewed, a Project Green Schools representative will reach out to discuss the next steps.
  •  Your chapter will have access to our 12 Pathways to Greening Your School, Chapter Handbook, Global Calendar, Partner Resources, Funding Opportunities and Student Recognition Opportunities.
  • Students are inducted as members and leaders are elected.
  • Each student or the group selects an environmental service project or multiple projects for the year. Students and groups are asked to track and share service hours and projects on their school landing page.
  • Your chapter and students apply for student recognition and awards on the local, state, and national level through Project Green Schools.

While your chapter should be largely student-led and self-sufficient, our job at PGS is to funnel information, ideas, and opportunities to keep momentum high and connect you to our network for resources, partnerships, and successful projects. To get a chapter started, ask a teacher or other school mentor to sign on , and complete an application. Make sure to follow procedures to get the chapter recognized with your administration or principal.

Benefits of Starting A Chapter

Students, individually or as a team, participate in environmental service projects, including STEM projects that have a direct impact on the school and local environment.

  • Students are seen as environmental leaders in their school and community.
  • Members get real world experience by leading fundraising events, organizing and managing projects, working in teams, and making presentations.
  • Students have the opportunity to take on leadership roles on a national level and participate in student-led webinars, conference calls, and events.
  • Graduating student members are honored at graduation with a distinctive National Green Schools Society stole when they meet specified requirements showing exemplary environmental stewardship in environmental education and service.
  • Project Green Schools facilitates student recognition and awards at the state and national level.
  • Chapter members are invited to participate and present at the national student recognition ceremony during the induction ceremony or school/community events
  • Chapter members use their environmental projects to qualify for scholarships and awards.


High School

For high school students in grades 9-12. A high school chapter is focused on individual and team environmental service projects. To graduate with distinction from National Green Schools Society, students must meet the 200 hours of service and a submit a capstone project. Chapter members must earn service hours in environmental service, environmental education, project-based learning (such as a senior project) and through an internship or work with a community partner. Chapters have elected officers and conduct fundraising activities.

Middle School

It is common for Middle School chapters to work as a team on projects, yet many members at this age take on individual projects. Members pledge 20 hours of environmental service to their school and community, and are encouraged to do more hours if they work on multiple projects. The chapter elects two junior officers and fundraising activities are coordinated with the chapter advisor. There is an induction ceremony, but students do not need to meet a minimum number of service hours to join. Chapter members will receive certificates for service with special recognition for members in 8th grade.


Grades 2-4 are encouraged to work together as a group on environmental service projects, such as recycling or composting or planning and planting a school garden. These easy-to-implement programs are fun and educational. There is not induction for this level or minimum hour requirements to join the chapter. Grades 2-4 chapter members receive individual certificates and the elementary school receives recognition for its contributions. Grade 5 students are often old enough to start individual projects, help with the younger students, or work as a team to begin a more complex project together. Project Green Schools has specific Grade 5 recognition awards and recognitions.


Virtual is for independent, home-schooled, or non-traditional students in grades 5-12. Students who do not attend a public or private school or are a student that does not have a chapter at its school can can start a Virtual Chapter.  Members work independently on projects in their communities or schools and are guided in their work by an advisor from PGS. Virtual members receive individual recognition for their work.

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  • An advisor could be a administrator, teacher, parent. If your chapter does not have an advisor please choose a student leader to be a main contact person.