For Stephen Ritz, growing produce goes hand in hand with educating children. Ritz, a lifelong educator from the Bronx, New York, founded Green Bronx Machine with the belief that healthy foods led to better health, educational, and job prospects for his students. He grew it from an afterschool program into a full K-12+ curriculum, and now students help him in growing fresh fruits and vegetables via indoor farms and an outdoor farm located on a decommissioned New York City street. In this episode of the Food Institute Podcast, Ritz shares his beliefs on the intersection of education and nutrition, and why his students succeed while learning how to farm indoors.
Growing Greens and Dreams Through Educational Means
Hosted By: Chris Campbell
More About Stephen Ritz:
Stephen Ritz is a South Bronx educator who believes that students should not have to leave their community to live, learn, and earn in a better one. An internationally acclaimed award-winning educator, Stephen is the author of the best-selling book, The Power Of A Plant, and founder of Green Bronx Machine. Known as “America’s Favorite Teacher,” Stephen is responsible for creating the first edible classroom in the world, which he has evolved into the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center. He and his students have grown more than 100,000 pounds of vegetables in the South Bronx, and in the process, Stephen has moved school attendance from 40% to 93% daily and helped provide 2,200 youth jobs in the Bronx.
More About Green Bronx Machine:
Green Bronx Machine is an impact driven, for-purpose organization with 501(c)(3) status rooted in the belief that we are all Amer-I-Cans! The organization was born via collaboration between life-long educator Stephen Ritz and his students who observed that as waistlines expanded, engagement and opportunities in school decreased, school performance suffered, and hope and ambition became minimized. Originally an after-school, alternative program for high school students, Green Bronx Machine has evolved into K-12+ model fully integrated into core curriculum. Our students grow, eat and love their vegetables en route to spectacular academic performance.
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