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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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46 Schools and School Districts Receive Grants for Sustainability Projects

By Press Release

EWING — Sustainable Jersey for Schools announced the 46 New Jersey schools and school districts selected to receive Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), including West Cape May Elementary in Cape May County. Eleven $10,000 grants and 35 $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including rain gardens, outdoor learning classrooms, a winter greenhouse, an aquaponics system, native habitat gardens, sustainability curricula and more.
“NJEA is proud 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.”
Earlier this year, Sustainable Jersey formed an underwriting partnership with NJEA. In addition to funding this cycle of the grant program, NJEA provides in-kind support through research and technical expertise. NJEA’s leadership and members serve on Sustainable Jersey task forces and over 137 districts and 328 schools are currently participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program.
“We know that schools and districts are in the best position to determine the needs for their schools,” said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon. “These NJEA-funded grants will allow school communities to come together to improve outcomes for students, teachers and the environment. Collaboration is key, and we are proud to have support from important strategic partners like NJEA.”
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.
West Cape May Elementary in Cape May County was awarded a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Project Grant for the Winter Garden Project, which will expand the school garden program by creating a winter greenhouse space to serve as an outdoor classroom. Growing and caring for plants in the greenhouse will help expand the science, math, art and nutrition curricula and provide a connection to the agricultural heritage of West Cape May. The school will use foods grown in the greenhouse to promote a Farm to School lunch program.
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, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 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 NJEA. The 2015 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. The Founding Sponsors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation is a Silver Sponsor and Spiezle Architectural Group is a Bronze Sponsor.
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.)

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