EDISON, NJ - Woodrow Wilson Middle School is getting “greener” every day. Last year, a very dedicated group of ecology-minded students made a big difference when, thanks to their research and a presentation to the board of education, Styrofoam was eliminated from the school and a new energy-efficient dishwasher was installed.
This year, it’s Phase II of the environmental movement for an even larger group of students who have formed a new club, the Scientastiks, and branched out into reducing food waste and electricity at the school. And now they’re very close to receiving a Green Flag Award from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the highest recognition from an organization that certifies “Eco-Schools” in about 60 countries around the world. If Woodrow Wilson receives the Green Flag Award, it will be one of only six schools in New Jersey so honored.
Based on the requirements for the award, WWMS anticipates receiving it and is awaiting final verification in the next few weeks. If the award is confirmed, a representative from the National Wildlife Federation will visit the school on Earth Day, April 22, and bestow a green flag that will trigger a major celebration at the school.
“I’m just so proud of this group and how hard they work,” said Science teacher Renée Dragona, who heads the Scientastiks Club and was part of last year’s student eco-movement. Principal Patricia Cotoia called the award “very awesome, prestigious and distinguished recognition because it shows that we’ve been doing ongoing projects to think about sustainability and environmental issues.” She believes the ecology work started last year has inspired a cultural shift in all the students, who are now more aware of picking up litter and not wasting food, among other things related to the environment. “We’re really excited about this,” she added.