5 Lessons for Greening Your Curriculum

Originally posted at Edutopia.org.

On a typical school day in New York City’s South Bronx, students at Community School 55 learn about science, literacy, math, geography, and more by cultivating an indoor farm, turning their harvest into healthy meals and sharing the bounty with others in their community. Remarkably, this state-of-the-art green curriculum has taken root in a hundred-year-old schoolhouse serving the nation’s poorest congressional district.

“If it works in the South Bronx, it can work anywhere,” promises award-winning teacher Stephen Ritz, the high-energy founder of Green Bronx Machine. He built a demonstration classroom—the National Health, Wellness, and Learning Center—on a lean budget and with plenty of sweat equity. It took trial and error to fine-tune his model with the right technologies, cross-curricular learning activities, and professional development to help other teachers get comfortable with a green curriculum. Now, with measurable improvements on everything from attendance to academic performance to graduation rates, Green Bronx Machine offshoots are springing up in schools across the U.S. and around the globe. Read More…