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Sustainable Jersey Announces $100,000 for 26 School Projects Statewide

By Press Release

EWING – Sustainable Jersey announced the awarding of $100,000 to support 26 sustainability projects in schools and districts across the state, including several in Cape May County. The Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants, funded by the PSEG Foundation, include six $10,000 grants and 20 $2,000 grants. 
“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,” stated Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “These projects have a significant impact on New Jersey’s sustainability goals and will directly benefit the students.” He extended his congratulations to all of the schools and districts that received grants.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed over $1 million 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,” stated Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “By supporting sustainable education in schools, we can help guide children and engage entire communities in the ways to help transform the environment.” 
Sustainble Jersey For Schools Grants Recipients (project descriptions below):
• Six $10,000 grant recipients: Christopher Columbus Middle School, Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, Newark Public School District, Toms River Regional School District, Whiting Elementary School, and Wildwood City School District.
• Twenty $2,000 grant recipients: Cape May County High School, Community Middle School, Cranbury School, Henry B. Whitehorne Middle School, High Mountain Middle School, Kings Road Elementary School, Lawrence Middle School, Lucy N. Holman Elementary, Memorial Elementary School, Middle Township High School, Ocean Academy, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Clifton Public School 9, Slackwood Elementary School, Tabernacle Elementary School, Thomas Edison Energysmart Charter School, Toms River High School South, Wilson Primary Center, Winslow Township School No. 5 Elementary School, and Woodbine Elementary School.
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.
Recipients of $10,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Project Grants in Cape May County:
Wildwood City School District
Warrior Fresh Farm to Table Program: Will add a greenhouse to the existing outdoor garden to extend the growing season and expand student learning opportunities, particularly for the environmental science and culinary arts classes. The greenhouse will support the Warrior Fresh Farm to Table program and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers’ after-school and summer programs.
“The Wildwood School District is extremely pleased to be awarded the Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant,” stated Josepha Penrose, supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction, Wildwood City School District. “The grant will enable us to bring our plans for a greenhouse to fruition which will greatly enhance the urban garden already in place at Wildwood High School/Middle School as part of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers after school program.
“Because of student interest, the garden has grown from a few boxes to 15 student built raised beds, yielding enough crops to create a farm to table program within the high school’s culinary program. The current program is limited by the growing season, so we are excited that the addition of the greenhouse will allow our students to participate year-round in the garden program, and to expand their knowledge through the inclusion of hydroponics and other new technologies in horticulture.” 
Recipients of $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Project Grants in Cape May County:
Cape May County High School
Farm to Table Back Porch Café: Will purchase aeroponic gardens to supplement the science curriculum and use the produce grown in the Back Porch Cafe Restaurant Class. The Cafe is open to the school staff and the public. The students in this class are responsible for creating the menu, preparing and cooking the food and serving guests.
“Cape May County Special Services School District is very excited to receive a Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant for both of our schools,” stated Barbara J. Makoski, superintendent of Cape May County Special Services School District. “These funds will allow us to enhance our programs and teach important concepts to our students who will have fun in the process!
“Because all of our students have special needs, it is vital to actively engage them in authentic projects in order to truly learn about sustainability practices. In Cape May County High School, our students will learn about aeroponics gardening, and actually grow food that will be prepared in our Back Porch Café Restaurant Occupations Program. This is a true farm to table initiative!
“At the elementary level, our Ocean Academy students will use math, reading, and science skills to dive in and conduct waste audits, compile data, document and make recommendations to improve our recycling program.” 
Middle Township High School
Improving School Culture and Climate: Will complete a School Culture and Climate Assessment, which will involve an inventory of the school’s programs and practices; a survey of student, staff and parent perceptions of school culture and climate; and focus groups with key stakeholders in the community. The assessment will lead to the creation of a School Culture and Climate Improvement Plan.
“Middle Township High School would like to thank Sustainable Jersey and the PSEG Foundation for their generous grant for $2,000,” stated George West, principal of Middle Township High School. “We look forward to getting our green team off the ground and running. The grant will be used to enhance and sustain the climate/culture of our building.” 
Ocean Academy
“Waste Wisely” Campaign: Will develop an educational campaign to improve the recycling program after performing and analyzing data from waste audits.
Woodbine Elementary School
Edible Garden: Will create an edible garden to connect the school and community with sustainable gardening practices and show the benefits of locally grown food.

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