The Blog

Back to School Teacher Spotlight: Stephen Ritz

It’s not every day you see attendance go from 43% to 93% in the classroom. Stephen Ritz, a teacher in New York’s tough South Bronx district is an inspiration and we’re excited to put the spotlight on this teacher’s unbelievable success is turning around not only his classroom, but uniting a community during this Back to School season.

Teachers have the power to truly motivate their classroom – our future leaders. Ritz was featured in The Guardian and we couldn’t help but take notice.

“Students come to school to take care of their plants – they want to see them succeed. Along the way, the kids succeed too. That’s great, because if I have their bodies in school, I have their brain.” said Stephen Ritz in his interview with The Guardian.

Ritz’s unique tactics also made for a positive outcome in the kids’ lifestyle. In his interview he also explained how most of his students had horrible diets, relied on inexpensive food options and didn’t have access to fresh foods. This changed those circumstances.

“The ability to bring healthy, fresh food into schools and teach children that input equals output is absolutely spectacular. While I started this program with older kids, now I love working with little ones because I can build on good habits instead of trying to fix bad ones.” said Ritz.

Teachers have a responsibility so far-reaching. They can be the reason a kid has the appreciation for what they put in their body and can give their students the tools to make smart, healthy decisions.

Read more about Ritz in the full article and get to know your kids’ teacher this fall. Thank you for all you do, Stephen Ritz!

Stephen Ritz in his created growing space. Photo courtesy of Progressive Photos