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NJ Devils Celebrate with Philip’s Academy

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The 2017 Impact Award from The Partnership for Healthier America Goes To...

Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education Receives the 2017 Impact Award from The Partnership for Healthier America (PHA), honorary chaired by Michelle Obama and vice chaired by Senator Cory Booker  

The Partnership for a Healthier America is honoring Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education with the PHA Impact Award that will be presented at the PHA Fit to Celebrate Gala on November 1, 2017. This national award is part of PHA's Catalyst for Change Awards, which includes the PHA Impact Award and the PHA Partner of the Year Award.  Philip's Education Partners was amongst 10 finalist, clinching this competitive award for exemplifying positive change at the community level by creating solutions to end the childhood obesity crisis.  

Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education is a program that works to address New Jersey's food related childhood illnesses by providing a holistic educational model that builds healthy relationships between children, family, and food.  "Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education is known for nourishing minds, bodies and communities with a goal to positively change the health of our nation. We share a steadfast commitment to create environments where all families and children have the opportunity to grow up healthy," said Blythe Thomas, Chief Communications Officer, Partnership for Healthier America.   

Philip's Education Partners is committed to providing young people with the tools they need to take life on. "We believe that giving students the tools to make healthyfood choices will allow them to make good life choices -- our vision is for every child to have access to environments that connect food with education," said Miguel Brito, CEO, Philip's Education Partners.  EcoSpaces Education is a critical component of the Philip's educational model, existing in Philip's Academy Public Charter Schools in Newark and Paterson.  This year, Philip's Education Partners piloted EcoSpaces Education at the Mt. Vernon School, a public Prek-8 school in Newark, NJ.  Philip's Education Partners is working closely with several partners, including Ramapo College, the Meadowlands Environmental Center and the REED Foundation for Autism to bring EcoSpaces Education to more young people.    Philip's Education Partners has launched an annual "Growing Healthy Communities" conference to empower more educators, advocates and leaders to integrate food literacy initiatives into their schools, after school programs, summer programs and communities.   

The Philip's Educational Model has received national recognition for its innovation and success with students, securing a visit from the then First Lady, Michelle Obama and more recently, the Chew's Mario Batali.  "This award is icing on the cake or should we say, homemade fresh herb vinaigrette on a freshly picked (from a school garden) salad", said Frank Mentesana, Director, EcoSpaces Education.  Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education will continue to be motivated by our students in the hopes of inspiring healthy kids for generations to come.  "I applaud Philip's Education Partners for receiving the 2017 Impact Award in recognition of their commitment to healthy living," said U.S. Senator Cory Booker. "By providing our young people with a well-rounded approach to a healthy lifestyle, we foster a solid foundation for our children to become strong lifelong learners."  Thank you Partnership for Healthier America!

WHO: Philip's Education Partners' EcoSpaces Education
WHAT: The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) Impact Award
WHEN: November 1, 2017   
WHERE: Dock 5
@ Union Market
Washington, DC

Philip's Education Partners mission is to improve the life outcomes of urban youth by establishing quality charter schools and programs infused with academic, social and community resources that build their intellects with the values, discipline and resilience necessary for them to create enriched lives filled with options and choices.  Philip's Education Partners shares its resources and facilities to make high quality, creative and innovative programming available and accessible to students who would otherwise not have access to life-changing educational opportunities.

"EcoSpaces Education is a program we are always excited to talk about when sharing info about farm to school. The program's curriculum impacts every student's perception of healthy food, where it comes from and what tastes great, even if it is green!“
Beth Feehan, Farm to School Program Coordinator,

NJ Dept. of Ag

For more information about the Philip's Education Partners charter network, please visit

A Vertical Farm Grows in Newark

Did you see us in the news?

The AeroFarms growing system
at our school, is an integral part of ecospaces education. It is also a valid link to STEM Education.

Vertical Farm
Indoor Growing Lab
Newark, NJ

Indoor Growing Lab
Chasing News: EcoSpaces Vertical Farm Technology Featured

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First Grade Teacher, Jannat Jang, Featured on Bank Street Education Blog

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New Yorker: Philip’s Academy Mentioned in AeroFarms Vertical Farming Technology Feature

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New York Times: Philip’s Students Featured in Gwen Ifill Tribute

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EcoSpaces Takes Best in Show

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Philip's Academy Paterson's Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

School's Curriculum Fosters Healthful Connection to Food, Environment


Philip’s Academy Charter School, in the heart of the second-largest city in the New York metropolitan area, has established a first-of-its-kind curriculum that emphasizes healthy eating and food literacy. Its mission is to foster a future generation of environmental leaders.

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First Lady Michelle Obama Visited Philip’s Academy

On Thursday, April 7th, First Lady Michelle Obama visited Philip’s Academy to plant with students on the school's rooftop garden. To help kickoff the spring planting season, the First Lady chose to visit Philip's Academy as part of her Garden Tour.

first lady - eco spaces

Press Coverage:


Al takes garden tour with Michelle Obama, learns where she'll be on Inauguration Day - Today News

first ladyTODAY's Al Roker joined the first lady at the White House Thursday, and then he hitched a ride as she visited two schools — Burke County Middle School in Waynesboro, Georgia, and Philip's Academy Charter School in Newark, New Jersey — for planting events.
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Michelle Obama tours garden, indoor farm at Newark school -

first lady - eco spaces 2First Lady Michelle Obama visits Philips Charter Academy in Newark to tour their rooftop garden. Her visit is part of her American Garden Tour. April 7, 2016 (Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media for
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first lady - eco spacesNEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — First lady Michelle Obama spent the day gardening in the Garden State. 
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Edible Jersey - 2016 Local Heroes

ECO Spaces “Today, we’ll be serving tilapia with mango salsa served on a bed of brown rice accompanied by sautéed kale, as well as a beet and berry smoothie.” No, this isn’t the script for a waiter at a top restaurant; it’s a typical meal for students at Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark.
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PACS Paterson Board of Trustees
Paterson’s Newest Charter School Begins Its Recruiting Efforts

The Paterson branch of Philip’s Academy will begin its first year with just a kindergarten, with 54 slots available, and will add a grade each successive year, until it reaches grade, according to school officials. To learn more visit

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Paterson Times - Philip's Academy of Paterson Hosts Information Session

On Thursday, January 7th Paterson’s newest approved charter school hosted an information session at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Visit to learn more and attend a future information session.

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Newark, NJ- Philip’s Academy has been granted approval to expand the school’s successes into Paterson, NJ.   School officials aim to open in September 2016 with Kindergarten and add an additional grade level each year, until the school is fully enrolled up to 8th grade.  The charter includes eventually having three K-8 schools that will funnel into a common high school. In addition, the school is seeking approval for Pre-K, which will be announced in early April.

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Newark Teachers Win Grant for Innovative Teaching


 NEWARK — Philip's Academy Charter School teachers Shanthia Williams, Towada Ito, John Farrell, Scott Geter, Scott Newman, Shamair Todman, Cathy Higgins, Eileen Jahn and Tom Augello have received 2015 Unsung Hero Awards from Voya Financial.

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Alumni News: Siblings Making Their Mark in Film Industry


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Alumni News: Philip’s Grad Gives Minorities a Voice Through Tech Startup


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Ms. Mosle Named PBS American Graduate Champion


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Philip’s Friends at AeroFarms Break Ground on World’s Largest Vertical Farm

World's Largest Indoor Vertical Farm Being Built in Newark


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Gwen Ifill Inspired an Entire School

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The Value of Handwork

Philips Academy Spotlight

Newark School Makes Healthy Eating A Priority In And Out Of The Classroom


As CBS 2's Cindy Hsu reported, the school is taking the fight for healthier living to a whole new level.

Click here to watch the video

American Graduate Day Inspires Students to Become Journalists

Students of Eco-Schools celebrate Earth Day with contests, lessons and planting

Sustainability is at the core of school culture at Philip’s Academy Charter School in Newark, another Eco-School. Students recycle, compost and plant a rooftop garden. They operate a controlled-environment system that allows vegetables to grow in the cafeteria, which are then harvested and served in the salad bar, and they learn about solar energy from the solar panels on the roof.

Earth Day will be celebrated on Friday, at the end of a week of festivities. The theme is "Ways to green our school."

"Some of it’s planting, some is cleanup around the school; each grade is doing something," said Frank Mentesana, director of the school’s eco-spaces program. That’s the beauty of the Eco-Schools program, Dowd said. It fits to each school’s capacity and experience, from advanced programs like Philip’s Academy to newbies like Millburn.

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Students Learn Healthy Eating Habits


New Charter School Looks Hopefully to the Future, Cherishes Its Past - John Mooney

Private academy in Newark is first in state to switch to become public charter.

“I am so used to saying St. Philip’s Academy, and now its Philip’s Academy Charter School,” said the longtime teacher and parent at the Newark school. “Just seeing that name come off the gym wall was something.” The name change may be the least of it, as St. Philip’s Academy – a Newark private school for 25 years – officially becomes the public Philip’s Academy Charter School this fall with the state’s approval of its final charter last week.

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Newark School Puts Focus on Food

Marcus Samuelsson

When we approached St. Philips Academy in Newark, I had no idea what kind of experience we were in for. What I thought would be a simple look into the technology behind the school’s aeroponic farming system, turned into an eye-opening experience and realization of how one small change can get the ball rolling to make monumental and all-inclusive steps in changing how kids learn about, eat, cook, and view food.

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Newark students eat healthier by growing garden

ABC News - Toni Yates

St. Philip's on Telemundo

Made From Scratch At Newark School

A great homemade ketchup recipe is one of the many things St. Philip's Academy in Newark, NJ brings to the table. When we couldn't find ketchup free of high fructose corn syrup, we decided to make our own.

This is how it often goes at St. Philip's, a K-8 school dedicated to serving an underserved population, that is the home to the EcoSPACES Program, an initiative created to confront the problems of unhealthy kids and an unhealthy planet. EcoSPACES is a comprehensive program that teaches concepts of wellness and sustainability through a variety of learning environments.

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Eric LeGrand Delivers Commencement Speech to Newark Students

Fios 1 News

Eric LeGrand spoke at the St. Philip's Academy Commencement in Newark on June 14. School officials say they invited the former Rutgers football player to the graduation because of the immense courage he has displayed in the face of great challenges.

Eric LeGrand Shares Strength With Young Grads

NBC New York

Eric LeGrand is the picture of courage and determination. Paralyzed during a football game at Rutgers, his life forever changed, but he never lost his optimism. This week, he shared his strength with a group of young graduates

The Importance Of The Family Dinner

Mario Batali - HuffingtonPost

At St. Philips Academy in Newark, NJ, they're making some really outstanding strides in children's education with regards to urban farming, cooking classes, physical education and family activities. But the one particular thing they're doing that most impresses me doesn't cost a cent, involves no roof space, and no new technology.

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