Cynthia Miller

Bright Beginnings Learning Center
Piscataway, NJ

Project Description:

Miller’s winning program, “Energy Cubs Greenhouse Project,” is designed to allow students to actively engage in energy saving and sustainability. Because Bright Beginnings is a self-contained special education school with students who are multiple disabled or autistic, the importance of developing innovative ways to give the same learning opportunities to typically-aged peers is paramount. Elementary and secondary age students will be involved. The younger students will be responsible for the planting and maintenance of the plants, and the older students will sell the plants and vegetables in a farmers market. Included in the project will be an example of sustainable living through the use of solar panels, a rain barrel and composter. Nearly 160 students will benefit from the program. It will also allow for the staff to address the students’ individualized education program goals in a functional setting including learning to attend to daily responsibilities such as watering plants, collecting data on their progress and preparing the products for sale. They will also be working with such life skills as counting money, interacting with customers, developing knowledge of the concept of money in a real life setting, and marketing a business. Miller lives in Edison.