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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

New York Sun Works Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: NY Sun Works is a non-profit organization that builds innovative science labs in urban schools. Through our Greenhouse Project Initiative we use hydroponic farming technology to educate students and teachers about the science of sustainability. We envision a generation of environmental innovators, empowered to create solutions to global resource challenges.

Results: NY Sun Works is an EPA, NAAEE and HBSCNY award-winning organization, and maintains a platinum rated status on Guidestar and a Top Rated status on Great Non Profits. By September 2018 school start there will be 83 Greenhouse project Labs up and running in the New York and New Jersey, and many more in development! To see a map of where we work, and the projects in development please visit our website at http://nysunworks.org/projects/ NY Sun Works has trained 320 + teachers in how to implement themes of Sustainability Science into the classroom. We have also trained specialized Greenhouse Project lab teachers at each partner school.

Target demographics: We teach students and teachers about Science and Sustainability.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In the last year we helped build 14 additional Greenhouse Project Labs, bringing our total reach to 83 schools with a population of 50,000 plus students. Our labs have the potential of growing 61,000lbs of fresh vegetables every year

Geographic areas served: New York and New Jersey

Programs: We grow and farm plants and fish year round and provide science curriculum to promote healthy and sustainable minds for us and the environment. Every year we host a youth conference for students at partner schools to share their knowledge and scientific research. We hold 3 annual 36-hour DOE accredited teacher training seminars on how to bring themes of sustainability into the classroom.

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jeff F.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A great organization that's committed to providing NYC youth with the tools they will need for a productive future. In a city where we can easily feel disconnected from the natural environment, they teach kids the importance of our natural world in ways that are truly engaging.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My company has a charitable giving program so our group wanted to find a cause to support. I searched the internet and came upon the New York Sunworks organization.
This non-profit helps mostly urban schools develop a program to teach students about hydroponic farming technology. I thought what a great program - teaching kids/young adults science and sustainability through hands-on experience.
Since then, we received approval to support the program, volunteered to help build the lab, and attended the Youth Conference, which was inspiring to see so many students going up on stage to present their experiments, findings, and learnings.
We will continue to support Sunworks for as along a we can. It has been a great rewarding and educational experience for us as well. Well done, everyone at Sunworks!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've really enjoyed working with New York Sun Works. They helped us design and build a new hydroponics lab at our school. This took a lot of coordinating and communicating with the School Construction Authority and would probably have overwhelmed me with my teaching load. The final result is beautiful. Now that the school year has begun they are so supportive in terms of helping to anticipate what supplies we need and training a cohort of teachers each week. As a teacher, doing this type of hands-on work is so much easier with their support. Our students are already planting seeds and excited for their first harvest.
One thing that I really appreciate about NY Sunworks is their commitment to the environment. Students are not just learning about plants, but about energy, water, waste, food justice, etc. This is what we strive for at City-As-School; interdisciplinary, real-world learning and NY Sunworks has helped us provide that for our students!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

NY Sun Works has been our partner for several years. They assisted us in running hydroponics based professional development and now they support us in our greenhouse hydroponic systems. The whole team is very accessible and is a pleasure to work with. No question is too big or too small. Our center really enjoys this partnership with NY Sun Works.
The GESC Team

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Last year, I joined the NY SunWorks family as a Hydroponic Lab Instructor. My school, The Benjamin Franklin Magnet School, opened it's doors to a new way of learning and a new way of seeing the world thru a student's eyes. It was a joy to teach young urban children who thought that tomatoes were "made" at the grocery store, covered in a cellophane wrapper. To see their eyes widen as gourds and cucumbers grew and hung on the vine. To witness as they explored how fresh lettuce tasted. It was love at first bite. As I go into my second year, I have the pleasure of continuing to be part of a family that believes that every child deserves to know where their food comes from. And believe me, it's not a cellophane wrapper.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My school is in partnership with New York Sun Works and our greenhouse classroom is such an amazing space for learning. My students look forward to science and our time with the hydroponic systems. The GHC is the perfect vehicle to not just make science real, but to cultivate students' interest in being a steward of our planet and making more sustainable choices.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thomas A. Edison Career & Technical High School began using NY Sunworks two years ago. NY Sunworks has been instrumental in helping us create and expand our Hydroponic Gardens. As a result of our collaboration, students with disabilities have not only learned an invaluable skill set that may serve them well in the 21st century job market, but have also learned the value of self-sustainability and the importance of our role in various environmental issues.

We plan to continue our relationship with this non-profit for years to come and would highly recommend them.

Donor

Rating: 5

They are fantastic! Responsive, helpful and efficient.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Edward R. Murrow High School's greenhouse was in need of some TLC. We were fortunate to have obtained a new state-of-the art Hydroponics and Aquaponics systems thanks to the diligent work of Ms. Sidsel Robarts and the entire SunWorks staff. Our greenhouse went from a forgotten place to now a place buzzing with students excited to learn about its systems. Students of all levels are looking forward to learning about sustainability and doing research. We could not have possibly done so well without SunWorks guiding us every step of the way .

The attention to detail and countless hours of work that the SunWorks staff invested in to making sure that all systems were working correctly is truly admirable. Dealing with all of our questions and concerns, while reassuring us in every step of the way is very much appreciated. SunWorks also provided us with hands-on and much needed Professional Development. Our teachers are still talking about their presentation, abuzz with ideas on how to use of our wonderful greenhouse. This has inspired them to create innovative lessons and even what maybe the very first high school sustainability curriculum.

Your continued support is very much appreciated. There are no words that can ever express our gratitude towards every single member of the SunWorks staff. Your team is truly amazing! I can not wait to see what the future brings. On behalf of our students and staff, Thank you!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

this is a super cool program!!!!!!!
our class loved the fish tank!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NY Sun Works was a great place to volunteer. I got to build skills doing hydroponics and aquaponics in a way that I had to really understand those systems in order to maintain them. Plus I could take home some fresh greens when in abundance! They also helped fund my cricket project, which incorporated the idea of circulating nutrients within the lab setting by adding insects. Everyone was really greatful that I could volunteer time, plus it was doing something I loved.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported NYSW for a number of years and watched them grow. NYSW is very well organized, and despite all kinds of hurdles and oppositions that non-profits come up against, the determination of this small group of women has been formidable. They now they have 44 greenhouse classrooms installed and 31 more about to be built. What better way to teach children about sustainability, respecting the environment, and responsibility than having a live greenhouse to teach them in.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported NYSW for a number of years because I believe in their mission. I have watched them responsibly grow and reach more and more young people in schools and train teachers. With the Climate Crisis clearly growing and becoming more and more a reality it is the children who will save the planet. NYSW is giving them the education they need and deserve to solve our future environmental problems.

Board Member

Rating: 5

NYSW is the real deal. This organization has grown organically under the leadership of parents, teachers, and scientists, and added more schools and more projects every year since 2008. The impact is large and growing, and the return on investment is phenomenal because of the leverage built into the NYSW model, which uses donor funds to kindle projects but requires each school community to raise additional capital and operational costs. NYSW has a proven model for gathering our scholastic communities together to build better science labs in our schools and more scientific minds in our children.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Aquaponics module was an exciting exposure to modern ways of sustainably farming all kinds of food including fish. We were tasked to create our own aquaponics systems that thrived in our classrooms. I had a lot of fun seeing how easy it can be to build sustainable growing options while also collaborating with friends.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Nysunworks youth conference was very interesting. It helped further my knowledge of sustainable solutions to earth's present problems. The students were well researched and spoke of all of the aspects of sustainability. I really enjoyed attending.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

los objetivos que tiene esta organización, son sumamente importantes en nuestro tiempo, pero lo que es realmente admirable es el método que han implementado ya que la educación sobre la naturaleza , no debe ser sólo teórica , sino que la práctica diaria y el contacto que los alumnos tienen constantemente con los procesos biologicos y quimicos que se desarrollan en la naturaleza, hacen que esta forme parte del mismo alumno, no como una materia más , sino como parte de la misma vida.

1 Rebecca115

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for NYSunworks for around 10 years and this is one of the most impressive non-profits I've come across. First off, this an incredibly frugal organization with an extremely low budget for the number of children it services and the range of its programs. The two directors Manuela Zamora and Sidsel Robards are paid employees of the organization, but the amount of work they put in is more than double for which they are paid. They do this out of passion for the project because they love what they are doing and know they are bringing something special and valuable to the kids. This is one of those few home-run charities: the kids love it so much attendance goes up on the days they have this class (which is an amazing feat for schools that have attendance problems); the children's grades go up an average of one full grade for science; the teachers, principals, and parents love it; the money donated is used effectively and never wasted.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Six years ago my good friend asked me to help with fund raising for an environmental science lab she wanted to build in a local NYC school. It was a totally new idea and we were so proud that we were able to get one funded and built. But we decided that one Greenhouse Project was not enough and that we needed to roll it out on a larger scale. I'm proud to say we now have more than 30 projects at various stages of completion and we have more interest than we would have ever dreamed of. But I'm also super proud at how well the organization is run, how frugal and careful our board is with the money we raise, how efficiently our directors manage the organization and projects; and best of all, how much the children, teachers, and parents love the program. It's really a special charity.

Luca C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a greenhouse intern, I worked in a great environment and with great people. I learned a lot about sustainability and relationships between city, food and health. It was a wonderful experience. NYSW works is an extraordinary way with kids and teacher to build a better future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a greenhouse intern, I have the privilege of working in these amazing spaces and assisting innovative teachers who introduce children to a variety of scientific concepts through hydroponic and aquaponic systems. It is wonderful to see how urban and local food production is normalized for these kids, and how much they enjoy working with plants, insects, fish and lab equipment, even clean-up tools! New York Sun Works is running a great organization that addresses a real need in our educational system—I hope this amazing opportunity is extended to as many kids as possible.