Back in School

2015-03-Omar_with_Stephen 2015-03-Omar_with_Tower_Gardens

Dear Friends,

What an amazing few weeks! Between Global Teacher Prize and TEDxManhattan, we couldn’t possibly ask for more. But now, I’m thrilled to be back in the Bronx, back in school, right back with students and doing the work that needs to done daily. Today, we are so proud to highlight two outstanding students.

On the left, meet Omar – our most prolific seed propagator. Omar is participating in our seeding and reading program – he is earning books while volunteering after school. Omar has propagated hundreds of plants – data he is integrating into his daily classwork with fractions, ratios and proportions. Omar earned three books this week and was thrilled to get them delivered here to him at school. In fact, through his work here, Omar wants his favorite book character – Captain Underpants – to start a new book series dedicated to composting and school gardening. We will be drafting a formal business letter to the publisher with his proposal and will surely keep you posted!

On the right, meet Denise – our Lettuce Ambassador. Denise stops in daily to bag up varieties of lettuce that she delivers to teachers in school and to folks in her building. Denise is determined to make sure that her peers and community sample what we are growing in school and experience the taste of locally grown fresh produce. She is also conducting research to determine which variety of lettuce people like best and why so we can best meet demand. With her phone in hand, she works diligently to schedule deliveries ASAP from our Tower Gardens to local taste buds!

In other news, with the snow finally melted and hopefully gone for good, we are formalizing our Spring planting schedule for our outdoor garden and are so proud to announce that every single grade level from Pre-K to Fifth Grade will have their own raised bed right in front of the school. We are continuing to iterate our final blueprints for the National Health and Wellness Center at PS 55 and will be unveiling them in the next few weeks as we continue to Barnraise. If you haven’t seen our newest TEDxManhattan Talk – please take a moment to watch and share; the children were so proud to appear on stage!

We’ll be sure to keep you posted and as always, we appreciate your support! Together, we can do this!

Si se puede!

Stephen Ritz AKA El Capitan