Charlotte, Philly & LA Make Your School a Solar School!

Ever since we started our Solar Schools crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo a few weeks ago, we’ve gotten calls from around the country asking where we’re planning to conduct our pilot projects for school communities that want to go solar.

Well, the early votes from our contributors are in, and we’re excited to announce that Charlotte, North Carolina, Los Angeles and Philadelphia were our top vote-getters. Now we need your help picking three schools in these cities to work with. Use the form below to nominate your school. Then get your friends to vote for your school through our Indiegogo campaign. Once we reach our fundraising goal, the three schools in these cities that get the most votes get access not only to our new online organizing/expertise platform, but also to in-person training from our experts, and ongoing support and mentoring during the organizing process.

<a href="" _mce_href="">Nominate your school!</a>

Contribute now, vote for a school and help us reach our $54k goal. Once we’ve achieved that, we’ll be able to build this program so that, eventually, it can extend nationwide, to every school in the country that wants use it to go solar.

While three schools in these cities will get picked, they’re not necessarily the only ones. If you contribute at least $10 now—or if you’ve contributed that much already—you can nominate a school, using this form. Get your friends, family members and fellow school parents to contribute and vote, and the school of your choice can be in the running too. I’m also happy to report that the platform (sans in-person training, etc.) is open to any community that can mobilize 30 donors who contribute at least $10 each through Indiegogo.

What the platform does is bring together interested parents, teachers, kids, school administrators and community members and offers the know-how to make solar projects happen. We want to help schools become committed, educated solar customers and, in doing so, help the schools save money. We also want to cut the customer acquisition costs for solar developers. Solar Schools isn't just about more projects, faster; it’s also about better projects.

Teachers NRDC has talked with describe just how excited kids are to use solar, and how this amazing clean energy source engages kids in math and science in new ways. School kids confirm just that. Going to a school that included solar in its 6th grade curriculum “got me interested in school,” one high school junior told us last year. “And being able to learn about all of the solar energy stuff got me into science as well.” In a small California town where half the kids are eligible for federal free lunch, that junior, now a senior, is taking advanced science classes to get ready for college.

For schools wanting solar—and I can’t think of any that don’t—our platform is an important opportunity. You can help us open it in 2014 to communities across the country by contributing now. Pitch in!