Turning Classrooms Into Living Laboratories To Engage Students, Improve Nutrition, and Create Thriving Communities

NORTHAMPTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / October 31, 2022 / Green Bronx Machine is an innovative, award-winning program that transforms hearts, minds, and futures by empowering students in low-income communities through learning experiences shaped by urban agriculture. Students and teachers work together to turn classrooms into agricultural laboratories where students grow their own plants and vegetables and watch as their seedlings become edible, nutritious, and delicious food. This indoor farming, which occurs in "tower gardens," is supplemented by engaging lesson plans that use plants and food to teach a variety of subjects while also providing healthy, delicious food for families and communities.

Quest Diagnostics , Monday, October 31, 2022, Press release picture
Quest Diagnostics , Monday, October 31, 2022, Press release picture

The program's founder, Stephen Ritz, is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning educator and best-selling author of The Power of a Plant. Among his many achievements, one of his most notable is the development of the world's first edible classroom, producing enough food to serve the entire school all year long.

With its roots in the South Bronx, one of the nation's poorest communities, Green Bronx Machine has grown into a celebrated national and international initiative. To date, Green Bronx Machine's project-based learning program has engaged more than 100,000 students in 20 states and 6 nations, generating significant academic student achievement and increased graduation rates, improved health outcomes, and key insights into how food justice, food access, and overall well-being are interconnected.


Q4HE aims to amplify the results of Green Bronx Machine through funding and resources that will expand the program into 30 additional schools in 5 regions across the country

Q4HE supports Stephen's mission and aims to amplify its impressive results by providing Green Bronx Machine with funding and resources to drive expansion into 30 additional schools in 5 regions across the country. Q4HE's support will equip each school with educational materials, tower gardens, and cooking supplies to support more students in achieving health, wellness, and academic success in an effort to close the health equity gap in these underserved communities.

"I'm proud to be the CEO-chief eternal optimist-of the Bronx! 116,000 pounds of vegetables later, my favorite crops are happy, healthy children, high-performing public schools, and families who have gone from surviving to thriving. Maya Angelou said it best: ‘My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are. To astonish a mean world with your random acts of kindness.' That is my North Star."
- Stephen Ritz, Green Bronx Machine

About Quest for Health Equity
While COVID-19 exposed the health disparities that marginalized communities face, the health equity gap existed long before the pandemic. As one of the nation's leaders in COVID-19 testing, Quest Diagnostics was in a unique position to drive change. This led to the development of Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE). Through Q4HE, we help improve access to testing and treatment for those in need, support organizations that address the root causes of health inequities across the country, and lead education and outreach efforts that enable better health outcomes for the most vulnerable among us. Learn more about our 2021 Q4HE initiatives in the 2021 Impact Report.

About Quest Diagnostics
Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world's largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors and improve health care management. Quest annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives.

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Spokesperson: Quest Diagnostics
Website: http://www.questdiagnostics.com
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SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics

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