April 27, 2023
50 New Hydroponic Labs to Finish Construction This Summer!
With the end of the school year on the horizon, NY Sun Works has big plans for the coming summer, making good use of the time students spend enjoying their well-earned vacation. With funding secured by Senate Majority Leader and NY Senator Chuck Schumer, as well as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries, Ritchie Torres, and Yvette Clarke, we’re bringing our program to thousands of students and future farmer-scientists with 50 new partner schools in Brooklyn and the South Bronx. If you know of a school in Congressional Districts 8, 9, or 15 that would be interested in and benefit from receiving a NY Sun Works hydroponic program through this funding, please let us know.
As we continue expanding our program through large, targeted investments like these, it’s important we consider who our efforts will impact, and the context in which we invest in New York’s communities. While climate literacy and resiliency efforts could use improvement across the board, underserved neighborhoods, particularly those of color, have a significantly greater need for these types of services. Not only are Black and Brown communities frequently excluded from climate and sustainability programs, but quality STEM education is also more challenging to access for those who live and learn therein. Almost all of the 50+ schools joining the NY Sun Works community are located in areas of high need, with some areas facing a severe discrepancy as high as 22 percentage points above the citywide average of 71% on the Student Economic Need Index. Through these new partnerships, we want to introduce new opportunities for learning, growing fresh food, and building community connections all while addressing the ever-pressing issue of global climate change.
New York is at the forefront of the world’s growing urban centers and should set an example for other cities both nationally and abroad in tackling the important issues of today. The Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice recently released its Strategic Climate Plan, reaffirming our city’s commitment to implementing sustainability at all levels. It’s up to all of us as residents and representatives of our communities to embody sustainable values and be the change we want to see in the world. And together, with support from our political leaders and the hard work of communities around the city, we can build a brighter, greener future.