The Connect the Dots for Schools Program challenges schools in Central Virginia to develop or expand on a green school project or program to increase environmental stewardship, strengthen community outreach, encourage creativity and complement curriculum development. To initiate this challenge, JRGBC provides interested schools with a group of volunteer mentors to help bridge the connection with local and national environmental resources. Mentors will work with select teachers and students to plan and implement low-cost sustainable projects for a duration of 5-6 months. Previous projects have included planting a rain garden or improving a school’s existing recycling program. Each school will be recognized for their participation in the challenge. Those schools that go above and beyond will be awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for their achievement. Therefore, to participate in the challenge, schools are required to submit their sustainable project/practice to JRGBC for jury review by November. See the Program Schedule below for more information. Interested in getting involved? Contact Connect the Dots in the News: Idea Stations articles on Green Apple Day 2013

 Submission Guidelines
March: Official launch event of the Green Schools Challenge April-May: Volunteer mentors are paired with participating schools May-June (Planning Period): Mentors and schools work together to determine sustainable projects/practices. September-October (Implementation Period): Mentors and schools implement project/practices together. November: Completed projects are submitted to JRGBC for jury review. The Award ceremony will be November 20th at the Steward School’s Bryan Innovation Lab.


2013 Connect the Dots Challenge Timeline

2014 Challenge Timeline

Be a Mentor – Fill out the Mentor Form Online or Download the Mentor Form (Word) Mentors are paired with schools in April, and should expect to spend a minimum of 4 hours a month working with their school planning, providing support, and implementing the project. Please contact Gwen Murray at if you have any questions! Mentor Resources: Mentor Training PowerPoint Start a School Project – Fill out the School Form Online or Download the School Form (Word) The Challenge is applicable to entire school buildings, grade levels or individual classes. You can come in with a project in mind or a blank slate! Our volunteers will work with you to help design, plan and implement a sustainable project. Please contact Gwen Murray at if you have any questions!
Below are some examples to get you thinking of possible sustainable projects, programs and practices that can be implemented during the Challenge. The Challenge is applicable to entire school buildings, grade levels or individual classes.

  • Sustainable curriculum
  • School wide water reduction program
  • Student led sustainable/environmental club
  • Carbon footprint reduction plan
  • Recycling program
  • Resource, re-use & reduction


Take a look at the “Past Challenges” tab to see some of what schools have done before.

2012 – 2013 Challenge
LEED Schools connect the dots laucnh 12-2-2010 016 In our third year of the challenge, we had a good mix of both new and returning school participants.  Award winners included: Curriculum Award: Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts, Mentor: University of Richmond USGBC Students Group Merit Award: St. Catherine’s School, Mentor: BCWH Architects Merit Award: Varina High School, Mentor: BCWH Architects Honor Award: CC Wells Elementary, Mentor: Barton Malow Company New Comer’s Award: Ecoff Elementary, Mentor: Johnson Controls, Inc.

Read More about the 2012-2013 Challenge and Challenge Winners

2011 – 2012 Challenge
2012 Connect the Dots Challenge Fourteen schools participated in the 2012 challenge, ten that were new to the challenge and four were returning participants. Volunteers provided over 80 hours of support to help schools reach their green goals. 2012 Challenge projects included rain garden improvement, compost workshops, and decorating recycling bins and educational posters about reducing waste.

Read More about the 2011-2012 Challenge and Challenge Winners →

2010 – 2011 Challenge
2011Challenge In the inaugural year of the challenge nearly 30 schools participated with 16 schools submitting an entry to be judged. Local supporters included SHW Group, James River Air, and Aero Integrated Solutions.Read More about the 2010-2011 Challenge and Challenge Winners →

Green Apple Day of Service The third annual Green Apple Day of Service will take place on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
The Center for Green Schools
Thank you to our 2014 Partners!
Premiere Partner

The Steward School

Event Partner