City As School Opens Greenhouse Clasroom

On a snowy November morning Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, students, teachers, School Construction and other community members celebrated City As School High School new Greenhouse Classroom.

The fundraising efforts were led by City As School teacher and Alum Naima Freitas who will be using NY Sun Works curriculum with experiments and research that connect science to math, social studies and art. “I am especially excited about using this classroom as a demonstration site for local elementary and middle schools,” said Freitas, “and will be working with my students to plan Pay What You Can Farm Stands and Cooking Demos with their hydroponic harvests”

Guests enjoyed fresh mint tea, kale chips and pesto made by the students using their first harvest.

The greenhouse classroom will expand far beyond the educational auspices of the Urban farm: Students will learn about the science of sustainability and how to grow food with cutting edge technology. They will also learn about contamination, pollution, biodiversity, and conservation while understanding how their actions have an impact on the environment.

“In-school hydroponics labs are a great innovation that make real-life, hands-on, project-based science education a day-to-day part of students’ lives,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Research and common sense both tell us that experiential education opportunities produce deeper learning and more meaningful experiences for students, and I’m thrilled we could fund and complete this project through my office’s urban agriculture initiative. Whether it’s hydroponics, aquaponics, greenhouses, kitchens, media labs, or recording studios, giving our students the facilities they need to do more than just memorize and recite is always the right thing to do.”

The Borough Presidents funding allowed for a complete gut renovation by NYC School Construction Authority to transform the previous space into a fully functioning urban farm in collaboration with NY Sun Works.