HOWELL – The Township School District recently received some good news. It has been granted bronze certification in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program. This program rewards schools that make positive steps toward going green.
Superintendent of Schools Joe Isola said, “the work surrounding sustainability goes far beyond any recognition, it is about helping students become productive members of their communities. This priority has existed in Howell for quite some time and is driven by student voice.
“In the development of our Strategic Plan, we have included a goal area focused on sustainability. I am so proud of our educational community, which is inclusive of every employee and student in our district moving in the same direction to achieve a common goal,” Isola said.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools, is voluntary, but achieving certification takes commitment and collaborative effort.
Each school that is certified at the bronze level must submit documentation to show it has completed a balanced portfolio of the program’s sustainability actions, reaching a minimum of 150 points. Currently, a total of 872 schools and 337 school districts are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program overall.
Each of the district’s dozen schools met strict requirements to achieve the certification, and are among 108 schools that earned certification this year. Those who achieved certification included Adelphia Elementary, Aldrich Elementary, Ardena Elementary, Greenville Elementary, Griebling Elementary, Land O’Pines Elementary, Memorial Elementary, Newbury Elementary, Ramtown Elementary, Taunton Elementary, Middle School North, and Middle School South.
Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey, commends the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students for their hard work and dedication.
“It’s truly paying off. The 2019 schools that have achieved Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification are leading the way to a more sustainable New Jersey. I’ve seen time and again, when schools and our young people are given direction and support, they’re powerful catalysts for change,” Solomon said
The program provides tools, training and financial incentives to support sustainability programs. This award recognizes one elementary, one middle and one high school for earning the most points in their category and for “significant sustainability achievements.’’
To date, 336 school districts and 872 schools are participating in the program. Sustainable Jersey for Schools has awarded over $1.8 million in grants to schools and school districts.
This year, Sustainable Jersey is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a year-long campaign that will include special events to educate and engage the Sustainable Jersey community and create a vision for the future.
The program 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, the PSEG Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2019 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants program is underwritten by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA and the Gardinier Environmental Fund.
Platinum and founding sponsors are South Jersey Gas and New Jersey Natural Gas. The gold and founding sponsor is NJM Insurance Group. The silver sponsor is Investors Bank. The bronze sponsors are BioShine, Gabel Associates, Maschio’s Food Service Inc., Jersey Central Power & Light 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).