Sustainable Schools

cool photoSustainable JC (SJC), Jersey City’s Community Green Team, is supporting the roll-out of the Sustainable Jersey For Schools (SJ4S) statewide certification program by partnering with JC School District Champions to plan, design and help fund demonstration projects at our schools, and in surrounding neighborhoods.  If you would like to work with SJC on school district projects, please fill out our Welcome Survey and let us know more about you!  This includes Teachers, Parents and others seeking to work with students to expand sustainability activities in Jersey City.

As part of SJC’s Community Sustainability Curriculum (CSC), we are launching this Sustainable Schools initiative, encouraging individual schools to register for the NWF Eco Schools USA Program, administered by NJ Audubon in New Jersey. This program is FREE and provides Learning Pathways, tools and a support system that can help school green teams achieve points and awards under the SJ4S Program. 
Part of SJC’s support system includes our partnership with crowdfunding site ioby.org – check our our Campaigns page here, scroll down
ioby’s GREEN SCHOOLS GUIDE – 5 Projects Any School Can Do to Make Environmental Learning Part of the Curriculum and Life in 5 Easy Steps 
Launchpad – We’re Ready To Roll
The Jersey City School District was the focus of The Honeywell Institute for Eco System Education with NJ Audubon delivered an amazing EfS program this past Summer and SJC was very pleased to participate !
Empower Design launches project based physics education pilot at Ferris HS !
Partnerships
SJC is excited to work with Eco Schools USA / NJ Audubon to support the JC School District ramp up its sustainability initiatives, using The Cloud Institute’s EfS framework for project based learning.   We are also VERY EXCITED about two other programs to be piloted in the District this year.  We’ve extended our collaboration network and partnered with these two awesome organizations in an effort to connect-the-sustainability-dots, both inside the classroom and through after school programming initiatives at partner sites around the City – 
Empower DesignEmpower Design is focused on implementing programs that teach students and local professionals to design and build renewable energy devices to sell to their communities. “Our ultimate motivation is the creation of local sustainable microgrids providing reliable, flexible, and maintainable electricity systems to communities that today have little or no access.”
Fabulous video here about the Empower Energy Design pilot kicked off Sept 2015 at Ferris HS.
BOD Launch of SJC’s ‘Permaculture For Kids’ program through our partnership with Beyond Organic Design, aims to introduce this  ‘whole systems’ design framework to students and the adults supporting these demonstration projects.  Modules and projects would be specific to the Eco Schools Learning Pathways selected by individual schools and shaped according to the specific site characteristics of the schools or the chosen community partner site / s.
What is Permaculture ? (we like this definition and are a fan of Claudia Joseph, the Environmental Educator behind the New York Permaculture Exchange !)  **
**SJC will be adding a Permaculture Track to our CSC Spring 2016 with new education partner Claudia Joseph of NYPE – stay tuned!
One of the goals of SJC’s Sustainable Schools initiaitive, is to get more parents and community members involved in school sustainability projects.  We look forward to working with a few schools this year, who form green teams that include parents and other community stakeholders, interested to work side by side together with school kids on projects.  SJC is particularly interested to support community initiatives that integrate eco-literacy opportunities for both adults and kids, including thru our +ART Project – stay tuned for upcoming announcements about this!
AND, here is a great example of expanded opportunity to integrate the ARTS into traditional STEM curriculums –  STEM +ART = STEAM  via Kaycie D. on her animation of the Periodic Table of Elements with female characters, BRAVA!
All of the educators behind  SJC’s Sustainable Schools initiative have gone through some training with the NJ Learns program offered by The Cloud Institute, another of SJC’s partners.
Lastly, SJC is making our charitable donations ioby crowd funding platform available to Jersey City school project teams, which will help bring resources to these efforts, aiming to broadly replicate the PS #5 and Frogs Are Green success stories. Check out the additional resources available on our RESOURCES page under School District Sustainability Initiatives.  And here are  FIVE EASY SCHOOL PROJECTS TO GET YOU STARTED !  
More about “Permaculture For Kids” & “Frogs Are Green” below.

bug hotel wildlifePermaculture For Kids is a new initiative for school children, that will explore the principles of permaculture and the ‘wholistic design process’. For example, students will be taught to connect many different natural elements and bring them together to create an effective school garden design. However, that program initiative is much more than the design of a garden –  using a systems thinking approach, we will strive to show children the connections between the natural world and their daily lives, including how to recycle food scraps to grow healthy soil. Students will understand that the most healthy solutions for people come from nurturing and giving back to the environment.  Thanks Monica & Rachel of BOD for spearheading this !

Stay tuned for announcements about Permaculture For Kids! school demonstration sites, which will include working with pre-school kids.

Check out our new Sustainable Schools Map below, showing JC Public Schools and nearby Parks and Community Gardens.  Hover your mouse over locations for details.   CLICK HERE TO SHARE MAP LINK.


Frogs Are Green

Frogs Are GreenFrogs and amphibians are on the decline around the world due to deforestation, habitat loss, climate change, disease, pesticides and other problems. Our mission is to educate the public through awareness about these issues and bring them into the equation by giving students the opportunity to share their own ideas and experiences. Frogs Are Green hosts annual contests for children’s art and photography AND has written a new six-week curriculum combining the study of amphibians and the natural world.  Paired with art expression projects for K-3, and partners with galleries for spring (Earth Day) exhibitions, the intent is to reach the broader community about important environmental concerns.  Thanks Susan for landing this wonderful GLOCAL project in JC !

kids frog artwork