When education is supported as a public good, it can teach our children and sustain our communities

In the heart of the South Bronx, a place in which 45,000 people live within eight square blocks of one another, an essential staple of life is in short supply—healthy, accessible food.

This section of the Bronx is what can be called a “food desert”—an area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or high-quality fresh food. Food is a challenge here, a challenge that makes the rest of life that much harder, especially when you’re a child growing up without adequate nutrition.

180: Green Bronx Machine, is the portrait of one school that is tending to the holistic health of its students. Four stories up in a century-old school building, a group of students and teachers are cultivating a learning culture that values health, wellness, mindfulness, and community. As a result, grades, attendance, and school performance have improved.

But it’s not an either or: when education is supported as a public good, it can teach our children and sustain our communities.

We hope you enjoy their story, and that you feel moved to share it as a vision of what’s possible when public education is modernized, when students are put at the center of learning, when communities are powerful partners with educators, and when schools are deeply rooted in local communities.

Visit The Cornucopia Project and the New Hampshire School and Youth Garden Network to learn about New Hampshire schools that are growing community gardens to weave health and wellness with traditional subjects, like math, science, and language arts and bringing locally grown food into their cafeterias and classrooms.

To explore different components of school culture and how they impact student success, visit our school culture page.