Manuela Zamora, Executive Director of NY Sun Works, and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-09) announced a significant advancement in climate and sustainability education. The expansion involves installing state-of-the-art hydroponic farms and introducing a high school-level agriculture workforce development program in 20 Brooklyn schools. The unveiling of this $800,000 investment took place at Edward R. Murrow High School and was realized through the Community Project Funding initiative.
Zamora expressed her pride in participating in the historic investment to improve science education in Brooklyn schools. She highlighted that the project would offer students the chance to learn about sustainability and 21st-century urban farming, encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM fields.
“The investment is crucial for our mission to empower students and to prepare them as responsible stewards of climate action,” said Zamora. “Our innovative program equips them with the tools and resources to grow their food, from seed to harvest, and provides an opportunity to share fresh, nutritious produce with their community.”
Congresswoman Clarke applauded NY Sun Works’ commitment to advocacy and sustainability education. “These funds will usher in a new era of education for New York students across 20 of our city’s public schools. I am eager to see the accomplishments they will make, empowered through this initiative,” Clarke stated.
NY Sun Works’ K-12 STEM with Hydroponic Farming program is the core of this initiative. It engages students, teachers, and the broader school community, focusing on science, sustainability, climate education, and promoting healthy eating. With this program’s help, students can grow and harvest significant amounts of fresh produce for their families and school community. The program runs throughout the academic year as a part of each school’s standard curriculum. Eighteen new schools will benefit from the program, with comprehensive teacher training and hydroponic systems support to ensure its long-term success.
The Sun Works high school-level agricultural workforce development program is another essential part of this initiative. It equips high school students with technical skills, foundational knowledge in environmental science, and workforce readiness training, creating avenues for them to enter green careers or further studies at the post-secondary level.
Edward R. Murrow and the High School for Human Rights will be the first to implement this high school program. Designed to meet the urgent need for youth workforce development in disadvantaged communities and the demand for a skilled workforce in environmental fields, the program is the first in NYC. It aims to bridge the divide by allowing students from low-income backgrounds to enter the workforce directly with a sought-after skill set and participate more inclusively and equitably in NYC’s green economy.
Image provided by NYC Sun Works