BRONX, NY, April 5, 2021 – This spring, Stephen Ritz, award-winning educator and founder of Green Bronx Machine, will delight children in 3-K through second grade when he brings his acclaimed classroom – and a cast of newly-created characters – to public television’s “Let’s Learn” series.
“Let’s Learn” is a one-hour, daily educational public television series featuring lessons by educators with expertise in teaching young learners. Designed to supplement at-home and blended learning, the series is produced by The WNET Group in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.
With the first 10 segments airing starting April 6, Ritz, also known as “America’s favorite teacher,” will educate, entertain and engage young viewers – and continue to plant the seeds for better health and academic outcomes – using his agriculture-centered approach across all subject areas.
Along with Patti the Pigeon©, Sammy the Shark©, General Sequoia©, and Leslie the Ladybug©, the newest resident of Basil Towers©, children will visit Ritz’s National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in the Bronx and the American Museum of Natural History in NYC for interactive lessons in science, evolution, fitness, urban farming and growing, the environment, biodiversity and the natural world – all with messages that foster kindness and respect, good citizenship, healthy habits and strong communities.
Mr. Met, mascot of the New York Mets, also will make an appearance in segment #6 when Mr. Ritz learns to dance.
In New York City, shows will air at 11:00 a.m. on THIRTEEN and at 9:00 a.m. on WLIW21 on the following dates, including:
Segment #1: Mr. Ritz Grows Food All Year April 6
Segment #2: Mr. Ritz Meets a Dinosaur April 13
Segment #3: Mr. Ritz Explores the Ocean April 28
Segment #4: Mr. Ritz Meets More Mammals May 5
Segment #5: Mr. Ritz Goes into the Woods May 10
Segment #6: Mr. Ritz Learns to Dance May 11
Segment #7-10: To Be Announced To Be Announced
“Let’s Learn” episodes featuring Ritz also will be available with additional content and student materials, unlimited access and new episodes streaming all summer long on the Green Bronx Machine website beginning April 7. Please visit greenbronxmachine.org/letslearn.
In addition, full episodes are rebroadcast on WLIW21 the following week at 8:00 a.m. Full episodes and segments are available to stream on-demand (for free) nationwide at letslearn.org. Green Bronx Machine/American Museum of Natural History segments will also be featured separately on the science segments page after it airs here: https://www.thirteen.org/programs/lets-learn/lets-discover-science-ccpmnn/
"Let’s Learn" episodes were made possible by funding from the Newman’s Own Foundation. Segments featuring Ritz were donated by Green Bronx Machine and Ritz.
"I'm so excited to generate educational content that inspires healthy living, healthy learning, and fosters inclusive and resilient communities for children of all ages. I'm grateful to Newman's Own, The WNET Group, NYC DOE and all our Green Bronx Machine partners for volunteering their time, energy and capacity for the greater good of our children - proof that together, we can grow something greater,” said Ritz. “I can't wait for you to join me and my cast of lovable characters as we explore the world, embrace diversity, build vocabulary, learn healthy habits, and make new friends - right in our local communities!"
“We are excited to partner with Stephen Ritz to bring Green Bronx Machine to ‘Let’s Learn,’ said Sandra Sheppard, executive producer of Kids’ Media & Education for The WNET Group. “The Green Bronx Machine segments and characters will delight and entertain our city’s youngest learners as they learn about science, evolution, fitness, urban farming, the natural world and more. It is a welcome enhancement to the series.”
“We are so delighted that Stephen’s path-breaking work at Green Bronx Machine will reach a whole new population of children who can learn about healthy eating and growing from his exuberant teaching methods,” says Miriam Nelson, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. “Newman’s Own Foundation is a proud supporter of GBM and this critical work.”
About Green Bronx Machine
Founded in 2011 by Global Teacher Prize finalist and life-long educator Stephen Ritz, Green Bronx Machine (GBM) is an impact driven, for-purpose organization with 501(c)(3) status. GBM builds healthy, equitable and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, its school-based model and proprietary curriculum uses urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators, to grow healthy students and healthy schools. Simultaneously, GBM also transforms once fragmented and marginalized communities into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving. For more information, visit www.greenbronxmachine.org.
About The WNET Group
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the nonprofit parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; and ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider. The WNET Group also operates NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network, and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs
MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. Community-supported, The WNET Group represents the best in public media. Join us.
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Credit: Courtesy of Green Bronx Machine
Credit: Courtesy of Green Bronx Machine