Johnson Park Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Princeton High School were each awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).
At a recent ceremony, eleven $10,000 grants and thirty-five $2,000 grants were distributed 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.
"Sustainability is an integral part of our work at Princeton Public Schools,” said Dr. Carol Kelley, Superintendent. “I am thrilled that Johnson Park, Riverside, and Princeton High School have been awarded grants from Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Education Association. The educational signage, reusable plates, and sustainably-made greenhouse are innovative and creative projects that will benefit our students. Congratulations to each of these schools and their Green Teams!"
"Johnson Park is eager to transition away from disposable plates and cups for classroom parties and parent functions,” said Dr. Angela Siso Stentz, Principal at Johnson Park. This grant will allow Johnson Park to build a supply of reusable service ware and test out a flatware retriever in the cafeteria. “I am incredibly proud of the Johnson Park Green Team and all of its efforts to make our school more sustainable,” Siso Stentz continued.
Riverside will use the funds to sustainably build a new greenhouse to grow micro greens. ”I am very pleased that Riverside has been recognized with an NJEA-SJS grant that benefits our students and helps their amazing garden expand,” noted Nancy Whalen, Principal of Riverside. “I also appreciate the innovation, teamwork, and creativity in designing a new greenhouse made from recycled plexiglass. By thinking creatively about sustainability, our garden educators and elementary school students will get a new learning space."
At Princeton High School, the grant monies will fund educational signage at the new basin beside the tennis courts. This basin is currently undergoing naturalization with native plants to help improve its stormwater capacity. ”Princeton High School is grateful to Sustainable Jersey for Schools and NJEA for awarding our school this grant. It is nice to be recognized for the hard work and dedication of the students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members on the PHS Green Team,” added Dr. Nicole Mantuano Lacsamana, Assistant Principal.
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 Princeton
Founded in 2012, Sustainable Princeton is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire the community to develop and implement solutions that positively impact the environment. We envision Princeton as a model town that examines every action through the lens of sustainability, ensuring a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of all community members now and in the future. Our office is located at 1 Monument Drive, Princeton, New Jersey. For more information, visit SustainablePrinceton.org.
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.
- District News