Pace Charter School of Hamilton Awarded Sustainability Grant

Hamilton, NJ – Pace Charter School of Hamilton was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey for Schools capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $10,000 grants and thirty $2,000 grants were distributed to fund a variety of projects including an outdoor science lab, sustainability curriculum, school wellness programs, hydroponic and aeroponic gardens, green walls, wind and solar energy charging stations, recycling and more.

“I am so very pleased that the Pace Charter School of Hamilton is the recipient of the 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools and PSE&G grant award.  This grant will directly support our greenhouse initiative.  Having a working greenhouse will help our students learn and participate in year-round gardening, while fostering student nutrition and healthy eating in our school,” said Debbie Pontoriero, Principal at Pace Charter School.  Ms. Pontoriero added that she is “especially proud of the green team and their commitment to not only creating this program for Pace students, but for striving to develop lifelong gardeners.  The resources being provided would not have been possible without the generous support of the 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools and PSE&G grant.”

“To be an innovative state, we must support our teachers, administrators and their respective communities as they shape the future of their students and schools for years to come,” said Randall Solomon, the executive director of Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the schools and districts that received grants. “Grant funding will build capacity as schools embark on sustainability projects that directly benefit the students,” Solomon said.

The PSEG Foundation has contributed over one million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program. “We are proud to partner with Sustainable Jersey to support and help fund projects that provide sustainable neighborhoods, economic development and STEM education to empower a brighter future. By supporting sustainable education in schools, we can help guide children and engage entire communities in the ways to help transform the environment,” said Ellen Lambert, president of the PSEG Foundation

Proposals were evaluated 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. Currently 256 districts and 634 schools have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification.

About Pace Charter School of Hamilton
With the passing of the New Jersey Charter School Act of 1995, a small, dedicated group of parents, educators and community supporters saw a real opportunity to change the nature of public education in Hamilton Township and the surrounding area by offering families a choice in their child’s public school education. In 1999, Governor Christine Todd-Whitman approved the charter of Pace Charter School of Hamilton and the school opened with a total enrollment of 120 students in grades K-3. Today, Pace Charter School of Hamilton has grown to serve more than 300 students in grades K-6 and is currently awaiting approval from the NJ Department of Education to add grades seventh and eighth grade to our upper school location.

Since the school’s inception, Pace has been recognized as a reward school, a school of exemplary education, received a governors recognition award, and most recently was named a Blue Ribbon School for Academic Excellence.

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 (NJSBA), the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). The 2017 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program is funded by the PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and NJM Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation and Investors Bank are Silver Sponsors.

Program partners include: NJSBA, NJEA, New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO), New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA), New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association (NJSBGA) and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

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