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Hill Welcomes Internationally Acclaimed Award-Winning Educator and Author Stephen Ritz

Wearing a bright smile and his signature yellow “cheese” hat, Stephen Ritz greeted each student and teacher who entered the Center For The Arts Theatre with a genuine and enthusiastic, “How are you? Thanks for being here!” before taking the stage on Tuesday, April 11. An internationally acclaimed; award-winning educator and author (The Power Of A Plant), Ritz visited Hill as part of the Tom Ruth Speaker Series.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Ritz shared his experience of living and teaching in the South Bronx – one of the poorest communities in the country - where access to healthy foods is limited. His dream was to provide his students with fresh food and teach them the importance of knowing where their food comes from.  

“The lack of good food has an impact on students’ ability to learn, which impacts their physical and mental well-being,’” remarked Ritz.

What started out as a dream in his classroom has transformed into a global movement with the founding of the Green Bronx Machine, which builds “healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development.”

“By growing food, we create opportunities and life in the classroom – anywhere – in any community that needs it most,” stated Ritz. “I want everyone – every city in the country – to become a thriving and inclusive community.”

“I believe there is good in the world,” he told Hill School students as he encouraged them to “Think boundlessly and live passionately.”

“The opposite of courage is conformity. I hope you color the world any way you want.”

Learn more about the transformational work Ritz is doing in his community and around the world at https://greenbronxmachine.org/.