Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced that H.B. Whitehorne Middle School has been awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant. Fourteen $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to support a variety of projects including outdoor classrooms, aquaponics food production, water bottle refilling stations, anti-bias training, school wellness programs, waste reduction, student green team capacity building and more.
The grant award will be used to sponsor learning beds in the new Verona Community Garden. The garden is creating beds solely designed for educational programming. Students and teachers from all six public schools, as well as Verona’s private schools, will be invited to participate in programs. Community garden manager Carol Thomas states “The education committee of the Verona Community Garden anxiously awaits the arrival of children and students in the garden.” Programs are being developed to focus on a variety of topics for young and old alike.
As a program underwriter, NJEA has provided $1.5 million to the Sustainable Jersey Grants Program and Sustainable Jersey for Schools program in order to support a sustainable future for children across the state. “NJEA is honored to continue our work with Sustainable Jersey as we direct resources into our schools that will support these innovative programs,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “It is our job to help create a new generation of engaged citizens and leaders. As our communities face economic and racial inequities, we have an opportunity to teach our students to be resourceful with recycling, sustainable living, and environmentalism and to pass that knowledge on. By emphasizing the value of sustainability, we also help ensure that we leave a better world for our students.”
“On the heels of an unquestionably difficult year, Sustainable Jersey is pleased to support the schools and districts working on sustainability initiatives,” said Sustainable Jersey Executive Director Randall Solomon. “Congratulations to the schools and districts that received a grant. Your innovative projects will have a lasting impact on the future of New Jersey.” 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.
The garden is located on the grounds of H.B. Whitehorne adjacent to municipal lot #1. The school has a strong history of environmental stewardship and ecological education programs.