Central Jersey College Prep 4th Graders Learn About Saving Energy

CJCP students learn about different types of light switches during the program.

Fourth graders at Central Jersey College Prep Charter School on April 16 learned different ways they could help save energy.

The assembly on sustainability was presented by members of a team from Legrand, a worldwide manufacturer of electrical components which has offices in the township.

The team came in at the invitation of the school’s new Green Club, which is leading the way in bringing sustainable environmental practices into CJCP’s classrooms.

After a short presentation on different ways energy can be saved, the students took turns visiting each of three demonstration tables: one showing the different types of light switches Legrand manufactures, one showing software management of hardware components in energy savings and one demonstrating Legrand’s sustainability efforts.

Legrand has been working with the school “with recycling and trying to support us as a school environment,” said Melinda Ilaria, the 4th Grade science teacher and Green Team advisor. “It’s been a beneficial relationship because they can show real life, real-world things that our students may not have the chance to do otherwise.”

Learning about energy saving methods is “crucial for their environment and how they’re living to sustain their living environment in the future,” she said.

The Green Club, which was started this school year, is bringing in recycling strategies to the classrooms, she said.

“We’ve done things like collecting bottle caps and collecting crayons to try and reuse them in different ways,” she said. “Students are coming up with new ways of how to save in the cafeteria, coming up with plans, how can we conserve energy, how can we recycle different products that we’re wasting.”

She said the plan is to bring the ideas into classrooms, then take them into their home lives.

Joel Bryan, global support director for Legrand’s Power and Access Division, led the assembly. He said this was the first time the company had held such an assembly.

“We weren’t sure what to expect,” he said. “We knew we had to make it interactive and we had to capture their attention and their imagination a little bit. We sat together, thought about this, worked with the school and came up with this idea.”

“We’re hoping that with the launch of the Green Club, to make this an annual thing as well,” he said.

Bryan said the assembly was part of Legrand’s “Better Communities” program, the idea for which is “for us to connect with schools in all the districts that we operate. The overall initiative is to bring some level of sustainability and recycling into schools as it relates to what our core competencies are, with our products, our product offerings and the materials that we use.”

Bryan said other components of the “Better Communities” program is Better Homes and Recovery. The company partners with Habitat for Humanity and Homes for Heroes for the former, and collects donations for the Red Cross after natural disasters for the latter.

Here are several scenes from the program:


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