msrs alumnus benjamin brown portrait
School gardening meets distance learning

Benjamin Brown ('20, master's in regenerative studies) is working with teachers at Diamond Point Elementary School to develop a garden-based curriculum – the centerpiece of the Regenerative School Garden Project he launched in July.

The project is funded by the California Science Project at UC Riverside. Participating teachers receive a $200 stipend twice a year to test the curriculum, which Brown based on Next Generation Science Standards for K-12. Brown hopes success at Diamond Point will lead to an adoption of garden-based curriculum at other Pomona Unified schools and districts in the area.

“School gardens are of enormous benefit to students and teachers alike," he said. "Studies have found numerous health benefits to students ranging from beneficial microbial inputs to improvements in physical and mental health, including improved academic performance and increased psychological well-being. With the chaotic state that the world is in today, the school garden and garden-based education seem more important now than ever."

Brown was a garden intern for four years at Diamond Point Elementary before the position was eliminated due to COVID-19. He stayed on as a volunteer garden coordinator to continue developing lesson plans and policies with teachers, and to maintain the school garden for lessons and livestreamed tours. View RSGP videos here.