Help the Green Bronx Machine build the National Health and Wellness Center at PS 55 in the South Bronx.
The Green Bronx Machine (GBM) has just inherited a 60 x 25 foot empty library in a 100+ year old public school building as their future home, and they are working to turn it into the National Health and Wellness Center in the South Bronx, an innovative and engaging wonderland where students can increase their academic performance and can grow their way towards a brighter future.
GBM believes that healthy students are at the heart of healthy schools, and healthy schools are at the heart of healthy communities. By integrating plant-based teaching with core school curriculum, they will grow healthy food, healthy students and healthy academic performance.
So just what is the National Health and Wellness Center? It is a place of inquiry and wonder, inspiration and aspiration, a place full of tactile and experiential learning opportunities for students and teachers.
To make all of this possible, they will have the following four components:
- Indoor Teaching Farm - we will teach students hands-on about food from seed to harvest, and will connect lessons to classroom curriculum.
- Teaching Kitchen - we will teach students how to prepare and cook the vegetables they have just grown to create delicious, healthy meals.
- Media and Resource Center - students will have access to computers for data recording and analysis, and internet for research and inter-classroom lessons with other schools across the country and internationally.
- Indoor Community Farm - we will grow enough food to send 100 students per week home with bags of fresh vegetables, 52 weeks per year.
Educator and GBM CEO Stephen Ritz says, “It is easier raise healthy children, than fix broken men." With his work, he is simultaneously changing the way kids eat and learn. Here is what the National Health and Wellness Center will allow him to accomplish within Public School 55:
- Increased student engagement - He wants students to show up to school excited and ready to learn. We want them to enjoy learning and develop a hunger for knowledge. He will nourish their bodies and their minds.
- Improved academic performance and test scores - as students experiment hands-on, they learn, and as they learn, they perform better! He wants all of his 4th grade students to pass the New York State 4th Grade Science Exam this year, and he wants to send the first group of PS 55 students to the Bronx High School of Science.
- Healthier students - as students understand where food comes from and how it grows, they will make better, healthier food choices. Steve and GBM will provide ongoing, reliable access to healthy food right in school all year long.
GBM’s focus now is to embed their work into the entire culture of PS 55. They know they can do this because they have generated incredible results in other schools, including:
- Targeted daily attendance rates increased from 40% to 93%
- 100% graduation rate among participating students
- 100% passing rate on NY State Regents Exam
Please support Steve Ritz and the Green Bronx Machine’s National Health and Wellness Center at Public School 55 in the South Bronx. Find out how you can contribute at https://www.barnraiser.us/projects/the-green-bronx-machine-can.
100% of the tax-deductible funds raised in this campaign will be used toward the purchase of equipment, facility upgrades, content creation, and operations in order to set this vision into motion.