Plumsted school awarded grant

PLUMSTED — The OceanFirst Foundation of OceanFirst Bank has awarded a $2,500 grant to Plumsted’s Dr. Gerald H. Woeher Elementary School.

Twenty grants of $2,500 have been awarded by the OceanFirst Foundation to local schools that have winning ideas that focus on teaching the next generation of environmental stewards, engaging students in hands-on green projects and reinventing how people live in ways that are good for them and the planet.

“I am very excited to be able to have the opportunity to create a sustainable project of green education for our school, [which we call the] Go Green Team,” said art teacher Rita Williams, who created the winning grant project for second-graders and their teachers.

The mission of the project is to develop pupils who are environmentally aware and who are problem solvers.

The project creates an environmental team composed of all second-graders and their teachers that will engage in an exciting and integrated program of study. These guardians of green will lead the entire elementary school in learning how to become green citizens of the world.

The pupils will work to re-create the school’s outdoor classroom space with native plantings, Williams said.

Students will collect compostable materials from the cafeteria to create better soil. They will collect rain water and they will also become worm farmers.

Learning experiences will include science, music, art, health, technology and literacy so that pupils will benefit from meaningful hands-on activities, Williams said.

Monthly “Green Days” headed by the second graders will allow the whole student body to be led in green activities.

“Green Nights” will allow families to come to school at night to learn together about becoming a green family and “Green Friends” are members of the community who are experts in various areas of the environment and will help to teach the pupils.