Investing in schools = investing in our future.
Schools are so much more than classrooms with books - they are where our students learn lifelong values and habits. Yet, in too many of our neighborhoods the quality of education is poor, resources are distributed unevenly, and low-income students are suffering from disproportionate health problems.
We need to create seats for gifted students to open up more opportunities and provide capital investments to all buildings, to ensure students have the resources they need to create school equity. Every classroom should be the same.
Still, students can’t perform if they’re not feeding their bodies properly. Would you be able to perform your job at your fullest potential while living on a diet of chips and soda for breakfast, and hamburgers or hotdogs for lunch? Many students don’t have a choice. Schools need to provide the building blocks for healthy lifestyles and success even outside the classroom. That is why I’ve made sure every public school in my community has a program that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables, and teaches cooking classes to students, parents, and school staff. I’m striving to bring this throughout the city and combine it with my plan to put farms in schools, so students understand the value of the healthy food they eat.
Millions of students come from tough upbringings and living conditions, almost certainly setting them up to fail in the classroom. I’d like to see meditation and yoga as part of our curriculum, considering they’ve been proven to reduce stress and stimulate learning in high-need communities. We must try new and innovative ways to give students the tools they need, to lead a more productive lifestyle and improve their chances at being successful.
New York City must encourage:
Healthy food in all schools
Urban farms in all schools
Meditation and/or yoga in the classroom (giving students tools they need for a healthier lifestyle and the keys to absorbing even more knowledge)
Creation of more seats for gifted students, to elevate them as much as possible
Capital investments in all buildings to ensure students have resources they need and create school equity