US (NJ): South Plainfield Middle School awarded sustainability grant

Sustainable Jersey for Schools announced that South Plainfield Middle School (SPMS) was among the 18 New Jersey schools and school districts selected to receive a grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. SPMS, the only recipient from Middlesex County, was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey grant for its greenhouse revitalization project. 

"We are thankful to Sustainable Schools NJ for their support of our greenhouse project and making it possible for us to update our middle school greenhouse," said Shanti Kantha-Murray, supervisor of science, arts, and applied technology for the South Plainfield School District. 

Sustainable Jersey for Schools grants are intended to help schools make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. The grant awards will fund a range of projects, including a mobile S.T.E.M. laboratory, a garden to table initiative, a waterfront educational program, outdoor classrooms and hydroponic gardens, a disposable plastic reduction and educational campaign, environmental justice exploration in the classroom, general green team support, and more.

At SPMS, the grant monies will be used for updates and repairs of the existing greenhouse, including the purchase of new greenhouse panels.

"We will be able to replace the old ones that are not in the best shape and are starting to crack. Compared to the older panels, the newer ones will help to absorb more sunlight, utilizing more modern technology in their construction," said Kantha-Murray who applied for the grant with assistance from Casianne Guastella, advisor of the middle school's environmental sciences club. "Our students will certainly benefit from an updated, more functional greenhouse to learn about agriculture and to be part of the growing process. We are excited for our students to have the opportunity to continue learning about the health and environmental benefits of our school garden projects."

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