NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP – Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune is one of only two schools in the state nationally recognized this week as a Green Ribbon School for incorporating healthy learning environments for students as well as cutting energy usage.
Just in time for Earth Day, the US Department of Education recognized schools across the states for their initiatives in greening their facilities. Out of the 64 honorees that were nationally recognized as Green Ribbon Schools, two were from the state of New Jersey – Bedwell Elementary School of Bernardsville and the Summerfield Elementary School of Neptune. To be nationally recognized, the two schools underwent a rigorous application process that demonstrated their comprehensive approach that incorporated environmental learning while improving both environmental and health impacts.
Out of eight NJ applicants, Bedwell and Summerfield were selected and recognized at EIRC’s 2nd Annual NJ Sustainable Schools Conference.
The NJ recipients of the Green Ribbon Schools Award exemplify the importance of students’ learning environments and the coinciding curriculum. “The importance for schools to begin to see sustainability as a means of financial and academic success cannot be emphasized enough in these times of severely restricted budgets and global climate change impact,” said Carol James, Director of NJ Sustainable Schools Consortium, a green initiative out of EIRC dedicated to providing schools with the resources they need to green their facilities and curriculum
Both schools stand as role models for the state of NJ and have incorporated healthy learning environments and programs for their students. Summerfield Elementary has seen a 33 percent reduction in energy usage since they have undergone sustainability efforts.