FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Thomas Edison EnergySmart Charter School is one of only two schools in Somerset County to achieve the 2019 Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.
"We are so glad to be part of this amazing program and be part of a healthy environment that enhances the happiness of the community," TEECS Lead Person, Oguz Yildiz said in a news release.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a voluntary program for grades pre-k — 12 encourages the promotion of green initiatives to qualify for the distinction.
Students and staff at TEECS participated in sustainability actions such as performing energy audits and boosting recycling efforts to integrating sustainability into student learning and promoting student and staff wellness.
“I commend the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students for their hard work and dedication—it’s truly paying off,” said Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “The 2019 schools that have achieved Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification are leading the way to a more sustainable New Jersey. I’ve seen time and again, when schools and our young people are given direction and support, they’re powerful catalysts for change. Becoming certified with Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a significant achievement.”
Schools are certified at the bronze or silver level dependent on documentation of points gained through sustainability actions. This year TEECS earned a bronze certification with a goal of moving to silver level certification next year. TEECS is also working towards earning a Green Ribbon certification, according to school officials.
School officials say from its inception, TEECS has always had an "EnergySmart" theme and has been focused on sustainability.
Students are offered a SmartTech class, with a focus on teaching sustainability, according to school officials. The combination of SmartTech and Green Team club, helps students remain focused on sustainability issues throughout the school-day, according to school officials.
“Sustainable schools provide a healthy environment, conserve resources and improve the well-being of the community,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) executive director. “Attaining certification is a significant accomplishment that reflects the leadership of the boards of education and their superintendents, as well as the contributions of principals, teachers, education support professionals and parents in this effort.”
On Oct. 22, the certified schools and their districts will be celebrated at a reception held during NJSBA Workshop 2019 in Atlantic City.
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