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Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Sustainable Jersey for Schools
Posted on 09/17/2021
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September 17, 2021

Five Schools in the Ridgewood School District Achieve Sustainability Certification

Ridgewood, NJ – Five schools in the Ridgewood school district have met the rigorous requirements to achieve Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. These schools form part of a group of 115 schools that achieved the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification in 2021. The five schools that have achieved certification are: Ridge Elementary School, Somerville Elementary School, Travell Elementary School, Benjamin Franklin Middle School, and Ridgewood High School.
“We are extremely proud to have achieved bronze-level certification for five of our schools this year. In 2020, Somerville Elementary School led the way being our first school to demonstrate sustainable actions that enabled us to attain this designation,” said Dr. Thomas Gorman, Superintendent of Schools. “Our active Green Teams collaborate on practices and initiatives that support our commitment to the environment and contribute to a healthier future for our community and planet.”
Sustainable Jersey for Schools, a program for pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade public schools in New Jersey, is voluntary, but achieving certification takes commitment and collaborative effort. “Participation in Sustainable Jersey for Schools demonstrates a commitment to sustainability. Becoming certified is a significant achievement,” explained Randall Solomon, executive director of Sustainable Jersey. “Thank you to the teachers, administrators, staff, parents and students who are doing the hard work every day to make a sustainable future.   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, attaining a minimum of 150 points. The more advanced silver-level requires a minimum of 350 points of sustainability actions. To see each school’s complete certification report, visit: Participating Districts and Schools. Currently, 1,025 schools and 373 school districts are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program overall, and 335 of these schools have unexpired certifications.  Once a school is certified, the certification is good for three program years.
About Ridgewood Public Schools
The Ridgewood Public Schools, committed to a tradition of excellence and innovation, deliver a high-quality education focusing on maximizing the potential of every learner. As one of the largest school systems in Bergen County, the district comprises 10 schools and serves over 5,600 students. The Ridgewood Public Schools are continually recognized on state and national levels for school and individual achievements. All students are taught in a technologically advanced setting and are provided with numerous opportunities to excel in the classroom and extracurricular activities, including academic competitions, the arts, and athletics.
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, 373 school districts and 1,025 schools are participating in the program. Sustainable Jersey for Schools has awarded over $2.4 million in grants to schools and school districts. 
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association, 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 2021 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 sponsors are Solar Landscape and Investors Bank. The bronze sponsors are Gabel Associates, the ECG Group and Maschio’s Food Service Inc.

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March 24, 2021


Benjamin Franklin Middle School Awarded Sustainability Grant


Ridgewood, NJ – Sustainable Jersey for Schools and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) announced that Benjamin Franklin Middle School  (BFMS) 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 Green Team at BFMS plans to purchase a Hydroponic Vertical Tower for year-round planting. This is an exciting opportunity to get students involved in sustainability initiatives. A tree will also be planted on the school grounds to celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness about the benefits of trees to our environment. 

"Benjamin Franklin Middle School is elated to have been selected as a Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant recipient.  Although we have a long way to go, we are confident this is a major step toward making our school a conscious contributor for positive environmental change,” said Greg Wu, assistant principal.  “With the support from our community and continued efforts to involve students and enhance curriculum, joined with the efforts of Sustainable Jersey for Schools, BFMS is on a mission to help instill lifelong and meaningful practices that will benefit future generations." 

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.

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. 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools is underwritten by the New Jersey School Boards Association, 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 2021 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 the NJM Insurance Group. The silver sponsor is Solar Landscape. The bronze sponsors are Gabel Associates, the ECG Group and Maschio’s Food Service Inc. and Investors Bank.