Dear friends, family and colleagues:

Just this week I learned from Principal Torres that since starting our work at the school, year to date behavioral incidents and out of class time disciplinary actions have been reduced over 50%! In fact, on WPIX TV this week, 4th grader Mousa told all of NYC how “happy and proud his family was” to get groceries that he grew in school. All of this as students gain access to the art of growing healthy food aligned to academic outcomes and stellar school performance and we’re just getting started. Simply put, the children LOVE THE PROGRAM!

As you know we have been working furiously to build the National Health and Wellness Center here at CS 55. Today, I’m thrilled to share our first renderings from the architects. To be clear, our goals include sending 100 students home weekly with bags of fresh produce – 52 weeks per year – while students excel in all academic areas! We are now eating fresh vegetables that we grow in school on a daily basis. Further, we are preparing students and practicing for the Fourth Grade Science Exam and are excited to cultivate our 15 raised beds once the snow thaws. Most importantly, we are working on growing the first cohort of CS 55 students to attend the BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE! I remain here committed and volunteering on a daily basis to see this dream to fruition.

Today, I humbly ask for your support and to join the mission. We need to raise a minimum of $33,000 to complete this project; an initiative that will change both health and educational outcomes for this and future generations! Give our children license to dream, to aspire, to grow and be involved! Please help us grow something greater here at CS 55 and support our Barnraiser Campaign! Together, we can do this!

Si se puede!

Stephen “El Capitan” Ritz