The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools

An inspiring story about how incorporating gardening and plants into teaching curriculum moved the graduation rate of students from 17% to 100% and improved attendance to 93% in his South Bronx high school.

In The Power of a Plant, globally acclaimed teacher Stephen Ritz shows readers how, in one of the nation’s poorest communities, his students thrive in school and in life by growing, cooking, eating, and sharing the bounty of their green classroom. His innovative program began by accident. When a flower broke up a brawl among burly teenagers at a tough South Bronx high school, Stephen saw a teachable moment to connect students with nature.

By using plants as an entry point for all learning, he witnessed nothing short of a transformation. Attendance soared from 40 to 93 percent. Disciplinary issues plummeted. In a school with a 17 percent graduation rate and high crime rate, every one of his students finished school and stayed out of jail. More than 50,000 pounds of vegetables later, he has figured out how to bring the magic of gardening into the heart of the school day for students of all ages.

Green Bronx Machine Bronx Green Machine

The Power of a Plant, shares Stephen’s practical solutions for growing his favorite crop: organically grown citizens. His approach Stephen Ritzhas attracted attention from the White House to the Vatican. For anyone worried about rising childhood obesity rates, better access to healthy, affordable food, and job opportunities to lift families out of poverty, he has hard-earned answers.

Read more about the Green Bronx Machine and pre-order your copy of “The Power of a Plant” today!

Tackling Tech: NFL, NBA Stars Redirect Followers to STEM Careers

How will young boys and girls respond when their pro sports, entertainment and performing arts idols tell them to pass on fame and focus on careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)? Sports tech companies hope kids listen to the likes of Drew Brees and LeBron James and consider a career as a mathlete, for example, over a shot at a professional athlete. The same goes for girls hearing a similar message from super-model Adriana Lima, and actress Zendaya.

It’s no secret that there are millions of open tech jobs available in the U.S. today that STEM-educated kids could fill as adults. Verizon pegs the number at 9 million overall with 4 million in science and math alone. By contrast, the number of pro sports and entertainment jobs are limited and quite difficult to land.

You needn’t do the math. A Verizon commercial claims there are only 2,880 pro football players, 624 pro basketball players, 850 pro soccer players and 5,800 models.

“We don’t need more Drews,” says NFL Super Bowl Winner Saints QB Drew Brees in the engaging ad. “We don’t need more LeBrons,” says NBA Superstar LeBron James. Other famous personalities added their voices.

That’s Brees’ and James’ message in a Verizon commercial that hit the airwaves during the Final Four and then during the national championship on Monday evening. The ads are part of an ongoing Verizon program, which includes financial and tech resources for kids in underserved schools and communities so that they have the opportunity to take the STEM challenge.

Continue onto the New England Patriots newsroom to read the complete article.

GM partners with Girls Who Code with $250K grant for after-school activities

GM is teaming up with Girls Who Code (GWC), the national no-profit seeking to help close the gender gap in STEM education and professional fields. The partnership will see GM provide a $250,000 grant to help grow GWC’s Clubs, an after-school program that provides free activities for students in community centers and academic institutions to help boost computing and other technical skills and encourage more women to enter the high-tech workforce in the U.S. Continue reading GM partners with Girls Who Code with $250K grant for after-school activities


Air Force Civilian Service

Air Force Civilian Service

Robert Half