HP Bragging Rights: Sustainable Schools; 9/11 program; biking safety

HP Middle School wins Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant.

Highland Park’s Middle School won a Sustainable Jersey for Schools grant of up to $4,000, funded by the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), to implement its proposal for implementing health and wellness initiatives. Specifically, the school intends to do the following with the grant money: install a water bottle refilling station; purchase stainless steel water bottles; provide district-wide yoga for staff; and create a juggling club for students in the middle school, high school, and community; establish incentives for staff for wellness.

On Wednesday, August 24, Sustainable Jersey for Schools announced that 30 New Jersey schools from 18 counties were selected to receive these grants – all of which go towards supporting school health and wellness initiatives.

“Sustainable schools are healthy schools, and schools that promote health and well-being will see benefits,” said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey with Randall Solomon (Randall Solomon is a Highland Park resident who is co-owner of The Highland Park Planet). “These grants funded by the New Jersey Department of Health will support schools as they tackle important health and wellness actions.”

The New Jersey Department of Health is funding the grants through its Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant. NJDOH has three regional partners that will provide assistance and support to help schools successfully carry out the funded project: AtlantiCare (south), EmPoWER Somerset (central) and The Center for Prevention and Counseling (north).

An independent Blue Ribbon Selection Committee reviewed proposals. 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. Since 2015, $706,000 in grants has been provided to New Jersey districts and schools.

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, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward municipalities and schools as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 207 school districts and 516 schools in New Jersey are participating in the program.

The New Jersey School Boards Association, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) underwrite sustainable Jersey for Schools. The PSEG Foundation, NJEA, the Gardinier Environmental Fund and the New Jersey Department of Health fund the 2016 Sustainable Jersey for Schools small grants program. Founding Sponsor contributors are South Jersey Gas, New Jersey Natural Gas and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group. Bayer Foundation is a Silver Sponsor and Jersey Central Power and Light and Spiezle Architectural Group are Bronze Sponsors.

Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program partners include: New Jersey School Boards Association, New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey Association of School Administrators, New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, New Jersey Parent Teacher Association, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association, and The Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey.


Website:              www.SustainableJerseySchools.com

Twitter:                www.twitter.com/SJ_Schools


Facebook:           www.facebook.com/SustainableJersey

Instagram:           https://instagram.com/sustainable_jersey/

Linked In:             www.linkedin.com/company/sustainable-jersey




First Annual 9/11 Day of Discussion to focus on mental health.

The Borough of Highland Park and the Highland Park Human Relations Commission present the First Annual 9/11 Day of Discussion, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, 1 to 4 p.m., Highland Park High School Cafeteria, 102 North 5th Avenue. It is the first in a series of discussions that examine the many social complexities that challenge the post-9/11 nation. The first conversation will focus on “De-stigmatizing Mental Health Care,” and will bring together members of the community and mental health care experts.

Contact: Greg Trevor at gtrevor1964@gmail.com


HP focused on making bikeability a likeability rather than a liability.

On Wednesday, August 24, Highland Park held New Jersey’s first bikeability assessment. As a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly town, Highland Park is the ideal place for New Jersey’s first bikeability assessment, according to Council President Susan Welkovits. This study will help schools, parents, students and community members identify barriers that may make it difficult or dangerous for children to bike to and from school. Assessments evaluate the sidewalk, road and neighborhood conditions around the schools, and identify key safety improvements that can make bicycling a safer and easier way to get to and from school.

“As parents, we teach our children to participate and enjoy the benefits of our community, respect the environment, be healthy, and safe,” said Ms. Welkovits. “The borough’s goal is to improve accessibility and safety to encourage more students, their parents, and all residents to use their bicycles as a viable means of transportation and increased use for recreation.”

On August 24, the New Jersey Department of Transportation’s Office of Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, Rutgers University’s NJ Safe Routes to School Resource Center, Keep Middlesex Moving, and Safe Routes to School Coordinators from across New Jersey joined volunteers from Highland Park to ride and assess designated bike routes as well as discuss findings and next steps.



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