Green Bronx Machine – a garden programme with a real growth mindset…


Green Bronx Machine is a school garden programme credited with transforming pupils’ life chances. Simon Creasey speaks to its creator, who explains how growing food gives children themselves the opportunity to bloom

The garden programme with a growth mindset

Like many great ideas, the one that changed Stephen Ritz’s life came about by accident. He was a special education teacher by training and following a family tragedy he decided to work closer to home. He signed up at Walton High School in the South Bronx, New York City, not knowing much about its background. The school later closed and Ritz found himself working for Discovery High School on the same campus.

“Lo and behold, I had picked the most dysfunctional high school in all of New York City at the time,” recalls Ritz. “Just to give you some context: it had a 17 per cent graduation rate and ...

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