The South Orange-Maplewood School District won big in recent grant awards from Sustainable Jersey for Schools.
The school district won a $10,000 grant and Seth Boyden Demonstration School won $2,000. The district was one of only four districts statewide to win such a grant. Seth Boyden was among 31 schools statewide to receive grants for sustainability projects.
“We are very proud to have been awarded Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants both as a district, and for one of our elementary schools. These awards will be invaluable as we continue our commitment to teaching students about sustainability, and modeling green practices ourselves,” said Acting Superintendent James Memoli.
The SOMSD $10,000 grant will be used toward the Green Cleaning and Sustainability Program Launch. The grant award will be used to purchase high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) vacuums for district use and fund appropriate training for proper use of the vacuums as well as professional development in green cleaning in general. Funds will be used for the purchase of additional recycling containers for schools to support district-wide green team initiatives.
The $2,000 grant awarded to Seth Boyden School will be used for the Strawberry Fields Teaching Garden to support for the teaching garden and the launch of the school’s green team.
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.
Launched in October 2014, Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a program of Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward schools as they pursue sustainability programs. Find out more about the organization on their website or Facebook page or follow Sustainable Jersey on twitter.
Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants are funded by PSEG Foundation.
Other announced grants were to support initiatives including the planning of a green school building, achieving a no-foam cafeteria zone, promotion of water hydration stations, and more. The grants were awarded at a ceremony at the South Orange-Maplewood School District Administration Building in Maplewood on Friday, June 19. In addition to Memoli, local leaders present included Maplewood Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal, SOMSD Business Administrator Cheryl Schneider and Maggie Tuohy of the Seth Boyden PTA.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District and its schools are among 81 districts and 220 schools that have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. “This is a win for schools across New Jersey. These grants, funded by the PSEG Foundation, will help support districts and schools as they participate in the first year of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program,” said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon. “Grant funding will build capacity and support schools as they embark on sustainability projects.”
This is the inaugural funding cycle for the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program with $100,000 in funding from the PSEG Foundation for school districts and schools to use for sustainability projects. “A core element of the PSEG Foundation is directing funding and resources to schools to aid them in building stronger, more resilient communities,” said Ellen Lambert, President of the PSEG Foundation. “Through our Foundation giving, we support and partner with those organizations that set the pace and empower a brighter future.”