MORRISTOWN, NJ - Unity Charter School received recognition at the Sustainable Jersey for School Awards Ceremony last Thursday in Atlantic City. Connie Sanchez Unity Charter School Executive Director, Jillianne Steelman Director of Curriculum and Instruction, as well as Jen Carcich Sustainability Coordinator accepted the Bronze Award on behalf of Unity Charter School, for the hard work and dedication to sustainable practices. Sustainable Jersey for schools certification is a prestigious designation. It helps schools to pursue a balanced sustainability program one policy, one program, or one resource audit at a time.
Like many other states, New Jersey is facing issues of climate change, energy crises, water shortages and environmental pollution. As a school whose mission is create eco-literate citizens who understand that humans are part of an interdependent planet, and who are prepared to contribute to the health of our planet and its inhabitants Unity took great pride in working toward this distinction.
“As a school we understand the importance of not only teaching our students about sustainability practices but we have to be able to model sustainability practices by making regular improvements to our school that not only lower our carbon footprint, but also create a healthier learning environment for all our students and staff members”, said Executive Director Connie Sanchez. “The process we went through also created opportunities for our students to connect to the environment and our STEM, curriculum in a way the makes learning interactive for our students,” she added.
Unity Charter School was the only public school in Morris County and the only charter school in the state to receive this distinction.
"Our goal is to build on this recognition and begin working toward the silver recognition immediately, said Jen Carcich the Sustainability Coordinator. She added, “ We would like to be an exemplar in sustainability and help schools infuse education for sustainability standards into their daily practice. This award solidifies that we have been doing aligns to what our state wants schools to strive for. Having two parents, Mindy Quirk and Becky Rubinstein take on this initiative shows that community involvement is essential for a sustainable future.”