Newswise — Bronx, New York, June 21st 2022 — Green Bronx Machine, an impact driven, non-profit organization is partnering with DNB Bank ASA to provide 105 laptops to underprivileged students living in the poorest congressional district in the United States. These laptops, retrofitted by New York City Department of Education, will be donated directly to students to provide them with the tools they need in order to succeed help to bridge the “digital divide.”
Stephen Ritz, acclaimed teacher, founder of Green Bronx Machine, and author of The Power Of A Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools, said: “Thanks to DNB, our students and families will now have access to state of the art technology at school and at home 24/7/365. This allows learning to continue seamlessly — for entire families — and is a phenomenal step in bridging the technology gap in a community that needs it most.”
A representative at DNB Bank ASA involved with the partnership with Green Bronx Machine said, “It is our pleasure to support the work and children of Green Bronx Machine. We know that access to functional technology is tantamount to both 21st Century learning and engagement. Here at DNB, we know the work that GBM does is critical to building healthier, resilient, and inclusive communities and we are proud supporters!”
The New York City Department of Education retrofitted the donated laptops, adding educational tools and games, supplemental materials, and software to allow teachers to pre-load the laptops with scoped and sequenced instructional materials. Students will be able to access all the added materials even without internet access, ensuring access to learning opportunities all summer long and into the future. These laptops will belong to these students in perpetuity.
“I feel like the luckiest student in NYC to finally have my own computer” said Kyle G, a fourth grader at CS 55. His mom added: “This changes everything for our family. We are so grateful and excited to learn together. I cannot thank you enough!”
“This donation is GAME-CHANGING,” continued Ritz, “and exemplifies the perfect, public-private, non-profit partnerships we strive to create at Green Bronx Machine. From day one, DNB has been committed to the health of our students and supported our programming. To think that children will have a laptop in their home that they can call their own and have the tools they need to thrive all summer long and into the future, facilitates every type of success we and our partners imagine. This is what commUNITY looks like and together, we’re growing people!”
In the last year alone, GBM and Ritz have distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food, produced 5,000-plus pounds of produce grown locally in the Bronx, built and stocked three new food pantries, delivered weekly 152 backpacks of food to students and fulfilled more than 1,600 emergency food requests from families in need. Ritz and GBM also have trained nearly 1,500 teachers using GBM’s curriculum, impacting more than 65,000 students in the Bronx, across America and around the world and were proud to debut Let’s Learn with Mister Ritz, a PBS children’s show with more than 2 million views, which students will now be able to watch at home.