Green Bronx Machine was created to address the growing and urgent need for health education and accessibility to healthy food for students in low-income areas in America, which is staggeringly low. An indoor gardening curriculum founded by life-long educator Stephen Ritz, Green Bronx Machine allows children to grow vegetables in the classroom. The program provides the education which enables students to eat better, increase their engagement at school, and also provides a pathway for future work.
As Stephen and his students have observed, physical health and educational engagement and opportunities are directly linked. Without proper nutrition and a balanced diet, school performance suffers, and hope and ambition become minimized. Green Bronx Machine, a successful, impact–driven, and family-run organization, is working to prevent that.
Originally an alternative after-school program for high school students, it has now evolved into a K – 12+ model fully integrated into core curriculum.
Green Bronx Machine believes that healthy students help drive healthy schools, which in turn are at the heart of healthy, equitable and resilient communities. In particular, communities that are marginalized can be transformed into neighbourhoods that are thriving and inclusive through this approach. Its school-based model using urban agriculture is aligned to key school performance indicators, investing in the health and education of students.
In addition, the program contributes to job creation as well as increased inclusivity by fostering self-sufficient communities. The program reaches more than 50,000 students daily across the US and more than 115,000 pounds of vegetables have been harvested in the Bronx for communities by students to date.
TreadRight’s support of Green Bronx Machine will go towards the purchase of 2 aeroponics systems for use in classrooms, which is enables indoor gardening, as well as providing curriculum materials.
TreadRight Founding Partner Contiki, the award-winning travel company for 18-35 year-olds, offers travellers the opportunity to visit this project on USA trips as Make Travel Matter Experiences. On Contiki’s New York to Miami, New York Uncovered as well as Best of USA, guests will have the chance to make their travels meaningful with a visit to Green Bronx Machine.