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2018 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. At the September 2018 school start 86 Greenhouse Project Classrooms were 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 16 additional Greenhouse Project Classrooms, bringing our total reach to 86 schools with a population of 50,000 plus students. Our classrooms have the potential of growing 70,000 lbs 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

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I think is one of the best curriculums I have seen incorporated in schools. Not only do the students get the opportunity to learn sustainability and science through a hands on approach, but they also get an introduction into the process of food production and what good food tastes like.

Client Served

Rating: 5

my school was goven the privelege of a hydroponic greenhouse by NYSunworks. It is a wonderful place with msny lesrning oppurtunities

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a former student of a greenhouse project school I loved learning science through the hydroponics technology provided in the greenhouse. The hydroponics systems gave me independence to discover scientific concepts on my own as well as made the learning of the curriculum we would have otherwise learned in a classroom much more interesting.

Donor

Rating: 5

Education is the long term solution to sustainability and NY Sun Works brings an innovative view of how to address this. Furthermore, this organization creates genuine interest from kids not only in sustainability but in their overall school program. I know about children that have become enthusiastic to study science and that now understand better how the whole ecosystem is connected and how they can help the world to be more sustainable

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

New York Sun Works is the perfect example of a high impact organization. It is not only about building greenhouse labs and teaching science and sustainability, it is about addressing today's issues of global environmental concerns, improving families and communities, sharing and engaging... building a better future

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NY Sunworks has created labs and programs that not only teach science to kids, it also changes the way they think about science and their own role in sustaining the earth. It's had a profound impact in NYC public schools and has designed robust curricula for science and sustainability. The Youth Conference gives the students a chance to present real scientific findings to their peers and mentors.

Client Served

Rating: 5

New York Sun Works is a wonderful, innovative organization that is bringing hydroponic farming to urban students throughout the city. I am lucky to be able to work with them and teach my students how living in an urban environment does not mean we can't have access to freshly grown produce in school and even in our homes! It's opened up students' minds (and teachers) to the ways of future farming, even on a small scale. New York Sun Works' innovation has made this all possible. Also, with the curriculum they've created, our students are given the opportunity to learn about today's environmental issues and how to make changes in our own lives. Plus, as the school's Sustainability Coordinator, the big concepts embedded in their curriculum ties in well to how we move to a more sustainable way of living.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I consider myself so lucky to have the opportunity to work with New York Sun Works every day. The organization is lean, efficient and well-run. They open doors (figuratively and literally!) into the world of sustainability, nutrition and agriculture for urban school students. Their curriculum is extremely effective in teaching math, science, engineering, and so much more through plants and fish (hydroponics and aquaponics). It's a great honor to watch kids come alive in the beautiful greenhouses or classroom labs and learn lessons they'll have for life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

At my old school they have a NYSW greenhouse, which really informed me on diet, food production, and climate change. Because of the material being taught in this environment me and my class were able to learn more while having fun.

Client Served

Rating: 5

In November 2016, the innovators at New York Sun Works (NYSW) joined forces with us at Insurgo Project to host civic leaders, philanthropists, teachers, and families for a gothic themed gourmet dinner at the Cathedral St. John the Divine. The evening launched a new high school curriculum developed by our teams that merges technology, sustainable food production, and culinary ethics.

In conjunction with the Cathedral's Value of Food program, the dinner fused education and sustainability as a community of chefs and nonprofits presented guests with fall harvest dishes cooked and served by local students from the Urban Assembly for Green Careers (UAGC) that also featured greens grown by NY Sun Works. The student led dinner was hugely successful and not only provided a paid internship for participating students, but also generated enough funding to further the launch of our new curriculum into several schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the work of NY Sun Works since their Barge on the Hudson River. Over the years, my admiration and appreciation for their work has only grown. As a high school dance teacher at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, I understand the importance and impact of their program on students. I believe that a healthy environment is a prerequisite for nurturing young people regardless of what path they choose to pursue in the future.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

As a new employee at NY Sun Works, I continue to be impressed with the level of commitment and enthusiasm evidenced by the team members. It is clear that the mission of imparting the knowledge of science and sustainability to inner-city public school students is of critical importance to the organization. The team is also revitalized as they witness the hydroponic labs giving kids a fun way to learn about science and sustainability using hands-on experience and enjoying the fruits (vegetables and flowers) of their labor.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization has grown steadily embarking on a journey to bring quality ecological education to as many students in NYC as possible. Growing an idea into a reality, they are forever open to thinking anew about the ways ecology, sustainability and education connect to many aspects of our everyday life - fashion, architecture, art, politics, food, technology, and grass-roots movements. Their consistent efforts and exemplary work have stirred excitement in educators and students alike, empowering them to gain understanding of the world and play an active role as environmentalists.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

NY Sun Works has provided my children and the other students at their school to learn about not only science, but to also interact with the environment in such a positive way. My daughter absolutely loves science because she has had numerous opportunities to participate in Sun Works activities. Thank you, Sun Works!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a new member of the NY Sun Works team, I'm so inspired by what they've established in the school community. The integration of environmental science curriculum, reaching all aspects of the learning experience K-8 through the greenhouse labs, is so impressive. And important! The experiential aspect of the learning experience is invaluable. The way the program ripples out to the community is yet another priceless byproduct of the greenhouse lab.
I'm completely thrilled to be part of it.

Donor

Rating: 5

A few short years ago, NY Sunworks was a concept that promised to be big. It has not fallen short of those expectations; in fact, it has exploded in its far reach to educate children, inspire adults, and motivate leaders to act locally with global reprecussions. Thanks to the excellent and conscientious works of the organization what started as a few greenhouses on school rooftops has now turned into an urban movement. Kudos to the NY Sunworks staff and management for guiding a concept into a necessity.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an absolutely professional organization run by professional and dedicated people!!