MUSE Global is an alternative, plant-based education founded James Cameron, Suzy Amis Cameron, and sister Rebecca Amis. Earlier this month, MUSE announced to us the opening of their first franchise school which has been acquired by Goly Casey and John Casey.
We spoke with Ms Amis and Ms Casey about the exciting new plans for the franchise, the importance of its vegan model, and the future.
What is a MUSE school, and what do you hope to achieve through your educational model?
Rebecca Amis: MUSE School is an innovative education model with deep ties to sustainability and a commitment to fostering environmentally conscious youth. We adhere to a 100% plant-based model through the OMD framework, as outlined in my sister and MUSE Co-Founder Suzy Amis Cameron’s book, OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet.
In addition to the sustainability element, our educators apply a passion-based philosophy to academics, enabling an individualized approach to education. We are committed to supporting the social-emotional skills of our students by teaching self-efficacy, a skill which is integral to a child’s success.
How far are you hoping to take your mission? Are you looking nationally or internationally?
Rebecca Amis: We’re offering our franchise model both internationally and domestically. We strongly feel that the MUSE framework can be implemented in communities around the world – and there is such a high demand for innovative education, particularly in early childhood.
What is the Seed-to-Table program? And please can you explain the importance of promoting plant-based diets to young children?
Rebecca Amis: We are so proud to have over 140 garden beds between both of our Calabasas campuses, all of which are constructed with reclaimed materials. The students choose the plant varieties they want to grow, then sow, tend, harvest, and produce for the MUSE Kitchen and community restaurant partners. The children are taught why they eat plant-based at MUSE, and about the many positive implications for the environment.
How have your own childhood experiences influenced your vision for MUSE?
Rebecca Amis: I was incredibly fortunate to have both a mother and grandmother whom inspired my passions and individuality. As I became an adult and ventured into my college years and graduate school, I recalled the child-centric fashion in which I was raised, and knew I wanted to be a part of something that cultivated passionate, confident children.
Goly, when did you first learn about MUSE, and what inspired you to start a school of your own in the SF Bay Area?
Goly Casey: We first learned of MUSE in 2017, when we began researching plant-based, environmentally-focused preschools, because we were poised to take over our family owned preschool and had the idea to expand or create a new school incorporating these elements.
Why do you feel the MUSE model is needed in your community?
Goly Casey: The Bay Area has an innovative spirit that is very well-suited for an emerging, passion-based approach to education. It is also a practical and logical program to introduce to children and families in the community, given the environmental challenges we all face.
Tell us about your own transition to being plant-based, and why you feel it’s so important for children to be taught about plant-based lifestyles from an early age.
Goly Casey: There are three key reasons we transitioned and feel that plant-based eating is so important for future generations. We first connected with a plant-based diet when we adopted our dog, Dusty, who was pulled from a group of rescues that were going to be put down. From there, we made the ethical connection between our food and sharing our planet with other species. Finally, we learned about the connection between sustainability and animal agriculture, not to mention the enormous health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
How does it feel to be the first MUSE Global School franchise owner?
Goly Casey: It is an honor – and we are very excited to become part of the MUSE family. They are an incredible, passionate group of dedicated environmentalists and educators, and there have been extremely positive vibes throughout this process. There is still a significant amount of work to be done, but we look forward to opening our doors in September of 2020!