Who We are
Smart, Healthy Kids.
Our mission is to enhance students’ development of critical thinking, science, math and literacy skills through hands-on application of classroom curriculum and increased community involvement in the Rothenberg Rooftop School Garden. To do this, we have organized ourselves into a collection of individuals and organizations who are passionate about providing enhanced education to students in an outdoor classroom. Through this committed community, we make an impact in the lives of our Rothenberg students and families. Every year we:
Serve over 350 students through 4 garden programs
Engage over 25 parent and community volunteers
Harvest over 30 pounds of fresh produce that is eaten, prepared and distributed to families
Engage 35 University students in garden activities
Enhance the STEM skills of 65 students through targeted programming
Enhance reading skills through 35 garden book read-alouds
Our biggest impact can only be understood through the words of our students and teachers:
"We get to learn about plants and measuring. I like being outside better than being in the
classroom. Things I like to eat are carrots and lettuce." --Komuryi, 3 rd Grade
"The Rothenberg Garden Program is a program that ultimately changes lives. The impact this garden
program has on my students is mind blowing. One of the greatest lessons my students learned
was where their food came from. Ms. Bass and Ms. Singer have shown my students that they love
healthy, freshly harvested, delicious foods. 100% of our students get free breakfast and lunch, often
these are their only meals. These meals can be over- processed, high fructose corn syrup, red dye filled
foods. Without the garden program they may never get to taste a fresh white carrot, kale, or radish. The
students have the opportunity to get their hands dirty planting flowers and vegetables that help feed their community. My students were taught to eat a rainbow and The Rothenberg Garden Program is solely responsible for that." --Giana Collins, Rothenberg 1st Grade Teacher
All of this almost didn't happen. Thanks to incredible partners and supporters of the garden over the past 13 years, we are able to impact the lives of hundreds of students every year.
2008-2010- Over-the-Rhine Foundation leads effort to save Rothenberg Preparatory Academy from demolition and develops a vision for a rooftop learning garden atop the school.
2011-2013- Rothenberg Preparatory Academy undergoes a 24 million dollar renovation of it's historic building
2013-2014 School Year- School Reopens with a garden program integrated into classes
2014-2015 School Year- Initial construction of rooftop garden complete with 35 garden beds. Garden classes now held on the rooftop
2015-2016 School Year- Garden curriculum is aligned to the academic standards & pacing guides of the school. Rooftop Garden classes are incorporated into every student’s learning experience.
2016-2017 School Year- Jr. Horticulture Club and Rainbow Readers programs launched.
2017-2018 School Year- The purchase of movable tower gardens allow for richer winter-time garden classes. Summer Internship launched with 16 sixth-graders.
2020-2021 School Year- Developing a robust virtual garden curriculum to keep hands-on application of classroom concepts as part of Rothenberg students' educational experience.
Manager, Education Program
The Volunteer and Garden Coordinator
Jenn Bakes - Chelsea Brown - Mary Lee Dudley
Carrie Gaige - Tiffany Grissom - Emma McAvoy
Sharon McCreary - Linda H. Plevyak
Rose Seeger - Nicole Capella-Voet
Kasha Wiley - Ellie Wilke
Stacey Barnes, President
Brian Hennigan, Vice President
Katie Hushebeck-Schneider, Treasurer
Rachel Stallings, Secretary