St. Thomas Aquinas School was recognized as a Master’s Level Thriving School based on the number of sustainability projects that we have completed.  A student led project has reduced lunch waste by collecting waste food for the school chickens, composting, and recycling milk cartons.  Students are encouraged to walk or bike to school, either independently or with organized “Walking School Buses”.  The school celebrated the Season of Creation (September 1 through October 4) by focusing on water.  Students made presentations on water issues and participated in a Penny War, raising over $1500 to purchase water filters for our sister parish in Haiti.  Students have combined the call to care for creation with civics by writing letters to our elected officials.  Through all these actions and more, STA students are living the call from Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ to care for our common home.

January 17, 2019


INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Office of Sustainability joined 53 Indianapolis-area schools to celebrate the inaugural Indianapolis Thriving Schools Challenge (ITSC) at the Indiana State Museum. Each school was recognized for its efforts to advance sustainability education, strengthening and better preparing our city’s workforce and future.

“The Indianapolis Thriving Schools Challenge was born because so many Indianapolis schools had taken steps to improve sustainability in their classrooms – and it became clear that the City needed a way to recognize and support them,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.  “We applaud the efforts of our youngest residents who are providing a path to a cleaner, greener city and world – a world that uses less and re-uses more.”

The program received applications from 53 of more than 200 schools in Marion County, and all 53 were awarded certification for demonstrating their existing desire for sustainability education and programming in schools. Ranging from grades K-12 and representing nearly every school district in the city, 31 schools were awarded project funding up to $5,000 to create 51 new projects or expand upon existing projects. Of the schools that were awarded funding, 19 were public schools, five were private schools and seven were charter schools. The program also awarded teachers and staff with a stipend up to $1,000 for championing the implementation of new projects in their schools.

About the Thriving Schools Challenge:
The Indianapolis Thriving Schools Challenge is a green schools certification program for Marion County. Schools may reach certification either by starting new projects or demonstrating their existing initiatives. Selected schools are eligible for up to $5,000 in funding for implementing new projects or expanding existing projects. The Thriving Schools Challenge focuses on early education on sustainability and engaging children and young adults around important topics like environmental stewardship, social responsibility, waste reduction, and conservation of resources.