May Ranch Elementary School
At May Ranch, the sustainable agriculture program utilizes green technologies; leads to cross-curricular, real-life application and hands-on learning; and provides the community with healthy, nutritious produce. Green practices are part of daily garden and life science instruction. Students study, plant, and maintain pollinator-friendly native plants, including indigenous, water-efficient plants in the garden; compost food scraps; and maintain two vermicomposting towers with 1,000 worms. Through the school's garden, aeroponic towers, and vertical farm, May Ranch students produced more than 1,000 heads of lettuce for the cafeteria during the 2019-20 school year. The May Ranch cafeteria purchases lettuce and vegetables from the school garden. Students harvest, weigh and calculate the retail cost of produce provided to the cafeteria, and staff invoice the district's food services department. From 2017 to 2020, the City of Perris and May Ranch annually certified approximately 30 students as Junior Master Gardeners. Understanding the need to combat obesity and the city's status as a food desert, May Ranch relentlessly continues to expand its garden and sustainability education, hands-on learning opportunities, and outdoor experiences for students.