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Green Growing in the Classroom

Steve Ritz, a high school teacher in the South Bronx, is teaching his students lessons on green living. Ritz has turned his classroom in a literal edible learning space. Books are kept on desks and leafy plants cover the walls. Together, his students have created 450 recipes out of the vegetables that they have organically grown in his classroom garden.

Ritz’s curriculum is not only teaching kids how to grow produce in an urban environment, but his classes have also encouraged healthier eating habits. The South Bronx is listed at New York’s least healthy county. Ritz also teaches his students about emerging green technologies and different types of green jobs that they can study further in college. This past April, 10 of his students received scholarships for training and certification program that would allow them to professionally install green roofs and walls. The students put their green building skills to test by creating a community garden center. All of the plants were grown from seeds that were cultivated in Ritz’s classroom.

Ritz hopes that his students will take the lessons that he taught them and become the next generation of green innovators. It seems like he is making his wish come true. Could Boston schools benefit from a similar program?


Categories: Urban Ecology
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