Global green educator to establish the first Health, Wellness and Learning Centre for Dubai school children

 Stephen Ritz to establish a state-of-the-art learning centre that promotes health, wellness and sustainability at Fairgreen International School in The Sustainable City

Dubai, February 25, 2018: Globally recognized sustainability educator, Mr. Stephen Ritz, will lead school children in Dubai towards healthier and more sustainable lifestyles through the city’s first Health, Wellness and Learning Centre, being established at Fairgreen International School, Dubai’s first sustainability-focused school, founded by Esol Education, opening in The Sustainable City in September 2018.

Mr. Ritz will join the Esol Education team, and will lead and support health, wellness, and innovation initiatives across the organization’s schools. His primary focus will be to support Fairgreen and fulfill its vision, serving as Director of the school’s Health, Wellness and Learning Centre. The Sustainable City has dedicated one of its 11 bio-domes to the establishment of the centre, which will offer students project-based learning through urban farming, vertical farming, food technology and other initiatives that promote health, wellness, and sustainability.

Renowned as “America’s favourite teacher,” Stephen is a South Bronx educator, author of “The Power of a Plant” and founder of the Green Bronx Machine, a non-profit US organization that builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. The Fairgreen Health, Wellness and Learning Centre will be modelled on Green Bronx Machine’s state of the art facility, inclusive of a year-round commercial indoor vertical farm and food processing/training kitchen with solar and alternative energy generators – net positive on food and energy.

Speaking about his new role, Stephen said: “I am excited to bring my ‘SI SE PUEDE!’ ( yes we can ) spirit, from the South Bronx to Dubai to create a model that will impact the world! I’m so pleased to be working with the incredible team at Fairgreen International School in opening Dubai’s first sustainability-focused school and bringing my passion, purpose and hope to Dubai’s first Health Wellness and Learning Centre . Here we will use STEAM principles to focus on teaching children the importance of healthy fresh food, sustainable urban agriculture and how easy it is to incorporate a healthy diet into our lives, even going from farm to table within our own homes. With an alarming rise in childhood obesity worldwide, including the UAE, coupled with the threat to food crop safety, it is necessary for us to teach our children to make positive choices both for their health and for our planet. Lessons taught at the Health, Wellness and Learning Centre will give rise to important conversations around the topics of sustainability, climate change, deforestation, seed preservation, and students will be able to grasp the practical implications of these large concepts.”

The National Association of Secondary School Principals in the United States cited Stephen’s work and Green Bronx Machine as one of five national exemplars of service learning. In 2016, Stephen was invited by the White House to present at State of STEM – installing an indoor garden in the process. A replica of Stephen’s class was installed in the United States Botanic Gardens. Dedicated to “harvesting hope and cultivating minds”, Stephen believes that together, via collaboration, coalition and get-to-yes sustainability -solutions, we can all prosper.

“As a teacher who has inspired millions and a leader in sustainability education, Mr. Ritz will play an integral role in bringing the vision of Fairgreen International School to life,” commented school Founding Director, Mr. Graeme Scott. “The school curriculum team is also working closely with Mr. Ritz to develop our sustainability curriculum, which will be integrated into the International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum being taught at Fairgreen. We are looking forward to learning from Mr. Ritz and establishing our Health Wellness and Learning Centre as a collaborative learning environment for Fairgreen students as well as all school children in Dubai,” he added.

Mr. Ritz also serves as a sustainability consultant for Esol Education schools worldwide, also bringing his expertise in the UAE to Esol’s Dunecrest American School in Dubai, focusing on trans-disciplinary and project-based learning.

Mr. Ritz will be in Dubai this March and speaking at a series of events. Parents and children can listen to him speak at Fairgreen International School’s open day at 10am on Saturday, March 3 at The Sustainable City Visitor’s Centre, as well as at evening sessions at the prestigious Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on Friday and Saturday, March 2 and 3.

About Fairgreen International School

Fairgreen International School, founded by Esol Education, will be the first sustainability-focused school in Dubai, incorporating sustainability as an integral part of its educational programme. A purpose-built campus that utilizes solar power for all of its energy needs, recycles all of its water for agricultural use and implements waste separation and wind energy generation. With a purpose-built campus, the school follows the Esol Education’s 40-year tradition of establishing exceptional schools worldwide, with certified, professional and caring educators, experienced leadership and world-class facilities.

Located at The Sustainable City (TSC) Dubai, Fairgreen International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school offering the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (IB DP) and Career-related Programme (IB CP) opening in September 2018. The school will obtain authorisation from the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) to offer IB programmes in its pre-operating year, and will pursue accreditation from the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA).

Fairgreen International School will open with Pre-KG to Grade 9 classes in September 2018, growing to a thriving community of over 1,000 students by 2025. For more information, parents can visit www.fairgreen.ae. Admissions are open and inquiries can be emailed to info@fairgreen.ae .

About Esol Education

The world’s largest operator of American international schools, Esol Education has been providing high quality K-12 education to students in the Middle East and beyond since 1976, across schools in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, Cairo, Nicosia and Lebanon. The organization serves more than 10,000 students, facilitating the pursuit of knowledge in a stimulating, culturally inclusive environment. With a strong focus on providing the highest standards of educational excellence, Esol Education schools enjoy the benefits of experienced leadership, dedicated teachers and superlative facilities.

Esol Education aims to develop well-rounded global citizens who are socially responsible lifelong learners. With a view towards preparing young people to meet the call of the 21st century, we measure our success through our students’ progress, performance and wellbeing. Our teams of educators use research-based, progressive teaching methods tailored to children’s individual needs, putting students at the forefront of their learning. Bright and articulate, Esol students take great pride in their education, going on to attend leading universities across the world. Please visit: www.esoleducation.com

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