WARREN, NJ - Watchung Hills Regional High School was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grantfunded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $10,000 grants and thirty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including an outdoor science lab, sustainability curriculum, school wellness programs, hydroponic and aeroponic gardens, green walls, wind and solar energy charging stations, recycling and more.
“To be an innovative state, we must support our teachers, administrators and their respective communities as they shape the future of their students and schools for years to come,” said Randall Solomon, the executive director of Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the schools and districts that received grants. “Grant funding will build capacity as schools embark on sustainability projects that directly benefit the students,” Solomon said.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program. “We are proud to partner with Sustainable Jersey to support and help fund projects that provide sustainable neighborhoods, economic development and STEM education to empower a brighter future. By supporting sustainable education in schools, we can help guide children and engage entire communities in the ways to help transform the environment,” said Ellen Lambert, 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 256 districts and 634schools have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.
The Watchung Hills Regional High School District is currently working toward certification for the 2016/2017 school year with the help of its Green Team members who include the following: Elizabeth Jewett, Superintendent, Timothy Stys, School Business Administrator/Board Secretary, Beth Scheiderman, Director of Human Resources and Professional Development, Daniel Bertelli, Supervisor of Arts, Physical Education/Health, and Co-curricular Activities, Kathy Haines, Teacher of Science and Environmental Club Advisor, Angelo Foschini, Food Service Director, Angela Valerio, School Nurse, Nicholas DiNizio, Assistant Production Manager, Dina Ballaro, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Iris Comune, Secretary, Buildings and Grounds Department.
“The Sustainable NJ for Schools certification process has called for representatives from all aspects of school operation - facilities, food service, health, curriculum and instruction, finance - to collaborate to ensure that we are doing our part as a district to promote and model sustainable practices. As educators, it is not only our responsibility to prepare our students to succeed in a changing world, but also to help ensure the world’s resources are still abundant for future generations to enjoy as we have. The grant will help us expand our capacity to address sustainability issues - specifically, the purchase of additional, more prominent recycling bins will help to encourage all members of our learning community to recycle.” – Elizabeth C. Jewett, Superintendent, Watchung Hills Regional High School District.
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 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation and Investors Bank are Silver Sponsors.
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).