The Howell Township Public School District was awarded a total of $6,000 in Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants, funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). Aldrich, Newbury, and Taunton Elementary Schools were each awarded a $2,000 grant. In total, NJEA sponsored eleven $10,000 grants and thirty-five $2,000 grants to NJ schools to support a variety of projects including aquaponics systems, outdoor classrooms, pollinator and edible gardens, water bottle refilling stations, sustainability and STEAM education, food waste and composting initiatives, social emotional learning equipment, school green team capacity building and more.
Aldrich School’s vision for a Sensory Path will provide a colorful, creative, and playful way for students to build sensory connections in the brain that are responsible for sight, touch, and sound. Mr. Drew Smith, Aldrich’s Principal, said, “This pathway will enable our students to complete complex, multi-stage tasks and strengthen their motor skills such as balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. We are extremely grateful to Sustainable Schools NJ and the NJEA for allowing us to turn our visions into reality.”
"Newbury School is so excited to receive the Sustainable grant for our school! Adding a Water Bottle Filling Station for our staff and students will lead to improved health not only by increasing the intake of water for our students rather than sugary drinks, but also by improving the quality of the water consumed due to having a filtered system for water bottle filling” stated Principal Jim Quinn.
“The Taunton School Green Team is extremely grateful to Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the NJEA for awarding our school a $2,000 grant, and we are beyond excited about our ‘Farm to Table Imagination Playground’ project that will teach our primary learners all about sustainable practices and healthy living.” shared Principal Brook Napoli.
With this contribution NJEA has provided $2 million to support a sustainable future for children across the state through the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. “This is an important program that directs resources into our schools and NJEA is proud to continue to work with Sustainable Jersey,” said NJEA President Sean Spiller. “Our job is to help and support this new generation as they continue to become engaged citizens and leaders. By emphasizing the value of sustainability and healthy practices, which often go hand-in-hand with economic efficiencies, we help ensure that we leave a better world for our children’s children.” In addition to the grant funding, NJEA supports Sustainable Jersey for Schools as a program underwriter.
“These grants are designed to jump start sustainability projects that will have a far-reaching impact focused on New Jersey and our school communities,” said Sustainable Jersey Executive Director Randall Solomon. “We applaud the schools and districts ready to implement these innovative sustainability projects and thank NJEA for providing the crucial financial support that will allow these visionary ideas to come to life.” Proposals were judged by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee.
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. To date, 1,083 schools are participating in the program. Visit the Participating Districts and Schools webpage to see the full list of participating and certified schools and school districts. Sustainable Jersey for Schools has awarded over $2.8 million in grants to schools and school districts.
To learn more about Sustainable Jersey for Schools, visit: www.sustainablejerseyschools.com
About the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)
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 about NJEA, visit www.njea.org.