With results like these and waitlists of children to serve, now more than ever we need your support! We remain a volunteer program and are seeking funds to hire two local dedicated after school tutors – academic specialists so we can bridge the performance gap for our students. Given increasing costs, providing children & families with healthy, fresh ingredients & meals is more challenging than ever – WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
This #GivingTuesday, please consider making a small recurring, monthly donation or providing a legacy gift for our programs – all donations are tax deductible. Now more than ever WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! The eyes of the future are looking back at us – with your help, we can get it right!
Our after-school program held in the National Health Wellness & Learning Center is making epic happen daily! Serving the most at-risk children in the school from 2:30 – 5 PM daily, we:
have helped solve 1,914 math problems
analyzed 514 reading passages
completed 272 outstanding assignments
and cooked 26 gourmet meals from scratch
including our signature dish: St. Paul’s Stir Fry!
We are incorporating recipes from all around the world and even FaceTimed with Spaniards about paella. And we’re just getting started! Last week we ordered 25 sets of leveled texts so we can start our Reading and Book Club – we will be reading all winter long until 6 PM here at the Center.
Input equals output! Last week we fed all 750+ students in the school a healthy, locally grown meal via our School Garden to School Cafeteria Program. Clean plates and healthy smiles are our signature, but most importantly as these pictures show, the children LOVED the meal eating healthy food across the rainbow. Attendance at the school is at an all time high, and our after-school program is booked to capacity every day!
October 4, 2017:Green Bronx Machine, the non-profit organization building healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development, has been announced by global education non-profit HundrED, as one of its 100 innovative education projects across the world, all of which have been gathered over the past two years.
HundrED aims to share inspiring ideas and projects across borders to help improve the future of education globally. To achieve this, a team of researchers investigated innovations from around the world to determine 100 projects that are changing the face of education. The innovations were identified through research, events and recommendations; over 700 projects were evaluated based on their originality, impact and scalability.
Green Bronx Machine was chosen due to its unique pioneering status and ability to create a scalable impact. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, our school-based model using urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators grows healthy students and healthy schools to transform communities that are fragmented and marginalized into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving.
Stephen Ritz, founder of GBM said: “We are beyond excited to be selected as one of HundrED’s 100 global innovations. Teachers are the people that go from “can’t” and “won’t” to “it must be done.” Teachers change lives behind every successful child. At Green Bronx Machine we grow vegetables. Our vegetables grow students, schools, communities and opportunities. Being offered the opportunity to extend this beyond the U.S. using the HundrED platform is amazing and we are excited to see just how much further the project can be scaled.”
The selected 100 projects cover various fields of education from learning environments and holistic wellbeing to collaborative learning and game-based education, as well as a range of themes including small teacher-led practices, ambitious not-for-profit initiatives, viral edtech products and unique whole school models.
Saku Tuominen, creative director of HundrED, said: “Green Bronx Machine clearly stood out to us as a project that needed to be shared with the world. Being able to showcase these innovations marks the beginning of a drive to get all teachers involved in revolutionizing education. We will continue to encourage as many schools and organizations as possible to get involved so that we can work towards a positive future”.
To share the projects, HundrED has created an online platform so that educators around the world can trial and review Green Bronx Machine and all the other innovations using the resources, for free. To explore the global innovations, please visit: hundred.org
We were so honored to feature our experience, strength, and hope to grow something greater in the beautiful city of Atlanta where El Capitan talked about what it meant to be Georgia Grown, keynoting the first ever Aglanta Conference to a standing ovation and speaking to a focus group at MODA – Museum of Design Atlanta – at their special exhibit: FOOD by Design – SUSTAINING THE FUTURE. Special thanks to our friends at Blue Planet Consulting, Agritecture, Mario Cambardella, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Gary Black, and the great State of Georgia & City of Atlanta.
Our National Health Wellness & Learning Center continues to attract visitors and attention from around the world and around New York City. Last week we hosted Ms. Negrelli’s class all the way from Coney Island! Her class learned about us via the internet and came for a day of lessons, full STEAM ahead! During our time together, we farmed, raced on our bicycle generators, cooked, made smoothies, learned how to pickle and shared a Farm to Table meal. Thanks to our good friends at Gotham Greens, every child also went home with a bag of fresh, healthy produce and a handful of easy to use classroom recipes! Bringing children together from diverse backgrounds and different neighborhoods across NYC and the world for unique experiences and 21st Century college and career opportunities are at the heart of what we do. We grow students, smiles and success all year long!
We’re determined to prevent the summer slide! While summer is a time to farm, get outside, and have fun – we also need to remember that learning and reading should never stop! According to Scholastic:
During the school year, lower income children’s skills improve at close to the same rate as those of their more advantaged peers – but over the summer, middle- and upper-income children’s skills continue to improve, while lower income children’s skills do not.
It is estimated that the “Summer Slide” accounts for as much as 85% of the reading achievement gap between lower income students and their middle- and upper-income peers.
Regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic level, or previous achievement, children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading-comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.
3rd graders who can’t read on grade level are four times less likely to graduate by age 18 than a proficient reader
Having reading role-model parents or a large book collection at home has a greater impact on kids’ reading frequency than does household income.
Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed.
An overwhelming 92% of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they picked out themselves.
WE CAN STOP THE SLIDE! We’re determined to purchase four NEW BOOKS for every student at CS 55 – and best of all, let them pick from grade appropriate titles – AND – take them home for summer! We seek to purchase over 3,000 new books! Help us read our way to continued success and gift a book donation now!
We are so proud that our Founder, Stephen “El Capitan” Ritz, is releasing his book with Rodale: The Power Of A Plant. The book, co-written with friend and colleague Suzie Boss, highlights his odyssey of teaching in the Bronx dating back to 1984 and details the birth, genesis and evolution of Green Bronx Machine. True to his spirit, Stephen is donating proceeds from the book to support GBM to help grow something even greater. The book is destined to be a classic and is part memoir, part instructional and 100% inspirational filled with moments that will make you laugh, cry, jump for joy and leave you equipped and determined to MAKE EPIC HAPPEN in your life and the lives of others. Watch for news of the book tour!
Winter is here – and our school is under scaffolding – BUT, thanks to Macy’s and our favorite Santa’s Helpers, we were blessed to turn our scaffolding into an amazing Winter Wonderland that has become the Pride of CS 55 and a source of inspiration for all of Claremont Village. On the coldest day of the year, Macy’s NYC staff, along with Assemblyman Michael Blake came to spend the day and help decorate! We had so much fun we made the news!
Just last week we were thrilled to host our sister city program, Green St. Louis Machine and Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club. Traveling all the way from Missouri – the “Show Me State” – we showed them a GREEN BRONX MACHINE GOOD TIME and picked our own Tower Garden Salad! With Chef Bill Yosses and Chef Roberto working our Green Bronx Machine Mobile Classroom Kitchen, we all cooked up a storm and celebrated the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center. When our chefs cook, it is a VIP Affair and we were honored to have both Linda Curtis-Bey and Nancy Woods from the NYC Department of Education Chancellor’s Office visit and help cook, highlighting our Community School STEM / STEAM model! Afterwards, we took a VIP Tour of Yankee Stadium. Together, we are growing communities and camaraderie across the nation.