April 13, 2021
Open Schools, Open Labs
What a year it’s been! It’s wonderful to start to see more students and teachers back in schools, and many hydroponic labs in action. We feel such gratitude for the herculean efforts our partner schools have undertaken to keep their students engaged in learning. And we at NY Sun Works are proud that we have been able to support our partners in hands-on science learning, even from a distance, and provide nourishing food for communities. Despite the pandemic, nearly 60 NY Sun Works labs are currently operating, many with support from generous funders who have helped shore up struggling school budgets. A tremendous thank you to the New York Power Authority, Queens Delegation of the NY City Council, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Costa Constantinides, Council Member Reynoso, US Department of Agriculture and the DOE Office of Sustainability.
For those schools with labs that have had to remain closed this year, we look forward to working with you to plan for a Fall 2021 reopening. What better way to welcome students back than with beautiful green plants and the promise of exciting hands-on science learning. Our team will be reaching out soon to schedule a visit to assess your lab’s supplies and to ensure that your hydroponic equipment is in good working order for the next school year.
For our remote students – and also some students in school, but unable to visit their labs – we produced and delivered 12,500 Home Hydroponic Kits. Seventy-nine schools received kits and the accompanying curriculum, including 15 new schools that do not yet have hydroponic labs. We look forward to continuing these new partnerships!
We are thrilled that we have been able to begin installation of new hydroponic labs and welcome new partners! The School Construction Authority has released FY20 Capital Funds, allowing construction of new hydroponic labs – halted in March 2020 – to get underway again. Projects are well underway now and plans are in place to complete most of them prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year. And please stay tuned for FY21 Reso A lab information, which will be coming soon! Our NY Sun Works network of schools is growing in exciting ways.