South Orange Middle is first school in Essex to attain River-Friendly Certification

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The South Orange–Maplewood School District announced Oct. 27 that South Orange Middle School received River-Friendly Certification through a partnership with Rahway River Watershed Association. 

The River-Friendly School Program helps teachers, students and school leaders reduce water pollution while creating new teaching opportunities, enhancing wildlife habitats and establishing a healthier environment for children. Certification is offered at several different levels based on points achieved through lessons and hands-on projects in any of the four River-Friendly categories: water quality, water conservation, wildlife habitat, and education and outreach. In partnership with the RRWA, SOMS students worked diligently to promote the reduction of pollution, conservation of water, maintaining the local habitat for wildlife and educating the public about becoming better environmental stewards. 

“We are proud to be the first school in Essex County to attain River-Friendly Certification,” Principal Lynn Irby said. “I am so incredibly proud of my seventh-grade science teachers — Mr. Anthony Cicenia, Mrs. Nicole Chirlo and Mr. Frank Guastella — for their commitment to our students and this project. We truly are ‘SOMS strong.’”

SOMS seventh-grade science teachers and administrators will host a certification ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 3. The brief ceremony will include the unveiling of a sign in front of SOMS to recognize this accomplishment.