Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the disadvantaged South Bronx school district began landscaping and beautifying abandoned lots with his high school students in hope of amplifying their sense of community. When it worked, he began growing food in vertical planters and edible walls at the school itself. With new found responsibility, students’ attendance increased from 43% to 93%.
Failure was not an option for me. I funded all this from my own pocket. It is easier to raise healthy children than fix broken adults and I believe every child deserves a safe, healthy, nurturing environment to live in. I am determined to put a plant in every classroom in New York City and I believe that is within my means. When we teach children about nature, they learn to nurture. And when they learn to nurture, we as a society embrace our better nature. I like to call it our green graffiti.
Read the full article at The Guardian: My edible classroom gives deprived New York kids a reason to attend school
Or donate to The Green Bronx Machine’s ever expanding project, National Health and Wellness Center in the South Bronx, here.