First Avenue Achieves Silver Certification in Sustainable Jersey for Schools Initiative

[Newark, NJ – November 12, 2021] The Newark Board of Education is proud to announce the achievement of First Avenue School for being awarded Silver Certification in Sustainability by Sustainable Jersey for Schools. Sustainable Jersey For Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that want to go green, conserve resources and take steps to create a brighter future, one school at a time. Serving as a non-profit organization that provides tools, training, and financial incentives to support and reward schools as they pursue sustainability programs.

All certified schools were honored during a Virtual Awards Ceremony held on October 20, 2021. Schools were also awarded a certification plaque to commemorate the achievement. The certification holds for three years, ending in August of 2024. Schools earn this certification through consideration by their peers, professional associations, experts, and civic organizations in New Jersey, to be among the leading schools in the state.

Last year the entire District achieved Bronze Certification with 170 points, but First Avenue went a step further and added an additional 190 points to achieve Silver Certification with 360 points.

“We are so proud of the amazing work that is being accomplished here at the Newark Board of Education.” states Superintendent Roger Léon. “In a time where the pandemic has paralyzed the world, we have amazing teachers like Jenna Sandman and the First Ave Green team who continue to put forth great efforts to maintain the excellence of what it means to be part of the Newark Board of Education.”

Principal Rosa Branco set the stage for additional Newark schools to achieve Silver Certification Status, “Our staff, students, parents, and other community stakeholders truly enjoyed the work put into this initiative. Our goal was to ensure that our students learned strategies to build a healthy and happy future. Through the partnership with Sustainable New Jersey, students have been able to acquire the tools needed to preserve our environment and push student learning. We look forward to our continued partnership as it has given us a stronger sense of community and sustainability.”

This recognition comes at a time in which the certification marks a major milestone for the largest increase in the number of schools certified at the silver-level in an application-cycle since the program’s inception in 2015. To date, 373 school districts and 1,025 schools are participating in the program and Sustainable Jersey has awarded over $2.4 million in grants to schools and school districts, respectively. “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.”

This recognition also comes after the school’s acknowledgment on the U.S. News & World Report as “Best Schools in New Jersey”. Superintendent Léon along with the Newark Board of Education couldn’t be any prouder of this tremendous achievement and remain committed to sustainability within all schools in the district.

For more information, please contact:
Nancy J. Deering
Communications, Acting Director
Office: 973-733-6265