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
The newly sworn-in Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, is interviewed by Stephen Ritz in 2020 while he was Brooklyn Borough President. They talk in depth about his career, health, wellness, school food, and his visit to Green Bronx Machine to cook with students.
20-Jan-2022 11:30:13 AM EST
Green Bronx Machine Founder Stephen Ritz joined with Stepping Stones, Inc. and its Youth Transitions Project (YTP) leaders to mark the growing tiny-home village with two soon-to-be completed additional homes and the framing out of a third. Stepping Stones is the revolutionary foster care facility in the heart of Appalachia.
16-Dec-2021 04:55:28 PM EST
Green Bronx Machine is partnering with Danone North America to present the first ever Food for Good Community Event at Community School 55 in Claremont Village, Bronx, NY.
09-Dec-2021 09:00:26 AM EST
In recognition of its impact on urban agriculture, education, food insecurity and access to healthy foods, Green Bronx Machine has been honored with a 2021 Classy Award for Social Innovation.
08-Dec-2021 06:05:24 AM EST
In powerful testimony to members of the United States Congress today, Stephen Ritz, acclaimed teacher, founder of Green Bronx Machine and best-selling author of The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools, made the case for public schools’ role in ending hunger and improving health and nutrition in America.
15-Sep-2021 03:25:31 PM EDT
Stephen Ritz, acclaimed teacher, founder of Green Bronx Machine and best-selling author of The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools, has been invited by United States Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, to testify before Congress on the role of schools in ending hunger and improving nutrition. Ritz will testify on Wednesday, September 15 at 11:00 a.m. His testimony can be viewed live at: https://youtu.be/AoB13ifdO6I.
14-Sep-2021 05:30:43 PM EDT
Stepping Stones, Inc., the revolutionary foster care facility in the heart of Appalachia, reached a major milestone in its Youth Transition Project (YTP) when it officially opened its first tiny home and welcomed its first resident on Friday. Longtime supporter and urban farmer Stephen Ritz, a life-long educator, author of “The Power of a Plant” and founder of New York-based Green Bronx Machine, was on hand to celebrate and cut the ribbon on this first of eight tiny homes that are fully funded and under construction.
30-Aug-2021 06:00:43 AM EDT
Linda Femling, Director of Food Programs at Google in the Americas, Ana Cristina Garcia, Director of Government and Community Affairs at NewYork-Presbyterian, and Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor of GreenBiz Group Inc., have been named the newest board members of Green Bronx Machine (GBM), the innovative national education nonprofit that effectively uses urban agriculture to transform teaching, learning and workforce development to boost student academic, health and career outcomes in underserved communities.
21-Jun-2021 06:00:48 AM EDT
Stephen Ritz, founder of Green Bronx Machine and the National Health, Wellness, and Learning Center at CS 55, has been selected as a 2020-21 national LifeChanger of the Year award winner.
09-Jun-2021 06:05:00 AM EDT
United States Congressman James P. McGovern (MA-02), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, visited Green Bronx Machine and its founder Stephen Ritz at its headquarters yesterday at the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in the Bronx.
08-Jun-2021 06:00:18 AM EDT
From creating and starring in segments for public television’s Let’s Learn children’s series to celebrating National Nutrition Month and Earth Day to preparing for outdoor growing season at its various urban farms, one thing is for sure: Green Bronx Machine (GBM) and its founder Stephen Ritz have been and will be extra busy tending to their communities, people and gardens.
29-Apr-2021 06:00:26 AM EDT
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.”