CHATHAM, NJ – Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced that Chatham High School has been awarded a Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grant. The $2,000 grant is intended to assist the school green team as they lead and coordinate sustainability activities.
"Chatham High School is honored to be selected as a Sustainable Jersey for School Grant recipient," Darren Groh, CHS principal, said. "We are excited to continue our efforts towards our Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. These funds will go to good use as we look to make big strides toward our goal."
With this contribution, NJEA has provided $1.25 million to support a sustainable future for children across the state through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.
“It is our responsibility to care for our planet, protecting it, making sure that the ways in which we interact with it are sustainable,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “As educators, we bear a heavier mantle of responsibility because not only do we need to care for our own footprint but educate our students and communities to do the same -- to become engaged citizens, global leaders in saving and protecting our planet. NJEA is honored to continue our work with Sustainable Jersey as we direct resources into our schools that will support these innovative programs.” In addition to grant funding, NJEA supports Sustainable Jersey for Schools as a program underwriter.
“These grants encourage our schools and districts to foster innovative sustainability initiatives that make their schools better stewards in their communities,” said Sustainable Jersey Executive Director Randall Solomon. “Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants catalyze school-centered sustainability programs and support the creative superintendents, principals, teachers, students and parents who are leading them.” Proposals were judged by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants are intended to help school districts and schools make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.
Chatham High School formed a Faculty Green Team this year and aims to use the grant money for teacher stipends to document the sustainability work CHS has undertaken in recent years. The purpose of the documentation efforts are to earn a Sustainable Jersey for Schools Bronze certification.
Faculty Green Team member and student Green Team club advisor Shannon Falkner said, “CHS has taken some truly important strides toward sustainability in recent years. From single-use plastics reduction, to our three-bin waste system, to our school garden, CHS is setting an important example for students about what environmental responsibility looks like. We want to formally recognize these efforts to both draw attention to their importance and inspire staff and students to continue to make strides toward a more sustainable school.”
Lafayette Avenue School and Milton Avenue School, also part of the School District of the Chathams, participate in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. Lafayette currently holds a Silver certification through Sustainable Jersey for Schools.