Stephen Ritz is an internationally-acclaimed, award-winning educator, author of best-selling book, The Power Of A Plant, and founder of Green Bronx Machine. Known as "America's Favorite Teacher," Stephen is responsible for creating the first edible classroom in the world, which he has evolved into the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center. Using his acclaimed, proprietary whole-school curriculum designed around urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators that grow healthy students and schools, Stephen and his students have grown and distributed more than 115,000 pounds of vegetables in the South Bronx. In the process, Stephen has moved school attendance from 40 percent to 93 percent daily and helped provide 2,200 youth jobs in the Bronx. The State University of New York uses his curriculum to train elementary school teachers statewide in all content areas, while New York City Department of Education offers professional learning credits for all Green Bronx Machine professional development. The curriculum also is being used in hundreds of schools across the United States, and internationally in Colombia, Canada, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and beyond. Recently honored with the 2020 Change-Maker Award by NYC Food Policy Center, Stephen also has been recognized as a Top Ten Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, and named as both a Global Humanitarian and Food Tank Hero. He and his students have presented at the Obama White House three times, been featured on the cover of TIME for KIDS and are the subject of a new, full-feature documentary called, “Generation Growth.” Stephen is available to speak on topics, including: Education • Education Post-COVID: What Teachers, Students and Parents Will Need for Successful Transition Back to the Classroom • The 21st Century Education Ecosystem: Linking Food and Nutrition to Learning and Academic Achievement to Workforce Development and Living Wage Jobs to Justice, the Environment and Fully Circular Economy Communities • Social-Emotional Learning • Project-based Learning • Compassion is the New Curriculum Food Justice/Food Insecurity • Urban Farming • Food and Economic Justice through Ag – Urban, Rural, Suburban • Food Insecurity in the U.S. • The 21st Century Education Ecosystem: Linking Food and Nutrition to Learning and Academic Achievement to Workforce Development and Living Wage Jobs to Justice, the Environment and Fully Circular Economy Communities Community Health and Wellness • The 21st Century Education Ecosystem: Linking Food and Nutrition to Learning and Academic Achievement to Workforce Development and Living Wage Jobs to Justice, the Environment and Fully Circular Economy Communities • Next Gen Sustainability Leaders • Childhood Obesity and Diabetes
Attention all Green Bronx Machine fans! Even though growing season is still around the corner, our founder Stephen Ritz and other GBM leaders are literally “zooming” around the world, planting the seeds for better education and health outcomes. From the Middle East and Austin, Texas, to New York City and far-flung places in between, their mission is to educate everyone about the power of a plant to help young people achieve academic and personal success, improve community health and wellness, and address economic and food justice.
29-Mar-2021 06:00:15 AM EDT
"I've always said the most important school supply in the world is food. Never has food been more at the core of societal ills and possibilities than it is right now with supermarkets closing and children shopping out of bulletproof windows in gas stations and the occasional bodega. Food is the most critical thing that we can provide to families, and most importantly fresh fruits and vegetables, because we know that is the number one thing that helps boost immunity."
“Children will never be well-read if they’re not well-fed. So giving children access to healthy learning paradigms and healthy, fresh food is critical now more than ever.”