VERONA, NJ – H.B.  Whitehorne Middle School was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Six $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund school and school district projects across New Jersey including a recycling program, after-school garden clubs, filtered water bottle filling stations, a pollinator garden, a recycling campaign to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles and much more.

Carol Thomas, a member of the Verona Schools Green Team, applied for the grant. Mrs. Thomas reports, "HB Whitehorne Middle School is grateful to the program sponsors for granting us this award. The funds will be used to further our goal of eliminating single use plastic water bottles in our school."

It’s a great honor to support schools and school districts that are doing the important work of integrating sustainability into student learning around the state. These projects have a significant impact on New Jersey’s sustainability goals and will directly benefit the students,” commented Randall Solomon, the executive director of Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the schools and districts that received grants.

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The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Grants Program. “We are proud to partner with Sustainable Jersey, an organization bringing about real positive change for our state, to support and help fund projects that provide sustainable neighborhoods, economic development and STEM education. By supporting sustainable education in schools, we can help guide children and engage entire communities in the ways to help transform the environment,” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation.

Proposals were evaluated 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. Currently 300 districts and 745 schools have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

This is the second water filling station to be installed at HBW. The first was provided by a grant from the Verona Education Association, the  Verona school district employee’s union. The VEA also purchased 800 water bottles for the students and staff. A team of teachers and students from HBW are working to eliminate the use of single-use plastic water bottles and straws at HBW and Verona at-large.

About Sustainable Jersey for Schools

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for public schools in New Jersey. It was launched by Sustainable Jersey, an organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2018 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. The Bronze Sponsors are BioShine, Gabel Associates and Schneider Electric.

Program partners include: NJSBA, NJEA, New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).