ROXBURY, NJ - Nixon Elementary School was recently awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grant to assist the school's "green team" as it leads and coordinates sustainability activities, said the organization and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).

Nixon’s grant submission focused on the topic of Rethinking Recycling.

The school is to begin a recycling initiative to bring a consistent and effective recycling program to the school and provide education on the topic. Student ownership over learning and action will make the students the ambassadors of this initiative and, in turn of the Earth, that they will inherit.

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"We are honored to receive this grant and look forward to utilizing the funds to launch our rethinking recycling initiative," principal Danielle Lynch said. “As I reflect upon this grant and the important work that our school community engages in, I am reminded of a quote that guides us: 'Be the Change. May your words teach and your actions teach.' The Sustainable Jersey for School funds will enable us to create opportunities for our students to make these words come alive in relation to sustainability and its importance to today, tomorrow and always … and for that, we are extremely grateful.”

Staff training for this new initiative is taking place in collaboration with Morris County Recycling Specialists.

“We plan to spend the next month preparing to launch the effort with our school community on March 13,” shared Lynch.

Loretta Radulic, Roxbury superintendent of schools, said she is proud of the work her administrative team and staff have accomplished so far in achieving sustainability for the district.

“Nixon School and Mrs. Lynch have been at the forefront of this district-wide initiative," Radulic said. "The success of this grant not only raises awareness of the need to educate future generations but teaches us all that we must work together towards this end goal.”

With this contribution, NJEA has provided $500,000 to support a sustainable future for children across the state through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. “NJEA is proud to continue to work with Sustainable Jersey on this important program that directs resources into our schools,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Sean Spiller. “It is our job to help create a new generation of engaged citizens and leaders. By emphasizing the value of sustainability, we also help ensure that we leave a better world for our students.” In addition to the grant funding, NJEA supports Sustainable Jersey for Schools as a program underwriter.

“Sustainable Jersey grantees help advance our continued goal to create a more sustainable New Jersey and world,” said Donna Drewes, co-director of Sustainable Jersey. “We look forward to the innovative projects and work that these schools and school districts will accomplish and we will share the tools, models, and activities with other schools across the state.”

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.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training, and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. To learn more, visit www.SustainableJerseySchools.com

NJEA is the state’s largest association of education professionals, representing over 200,000 elementary and secondary teachers, administrators, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, retirees, and students preparing to become teachers. To learn more, visit www.njea.org.