Education Grants Program
In 2023 $70K is earmarked for grants in 6 categories! This support of Maine agriculture education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 is a direct result of the Maine Agricultural Specialty License Plate and a USDA Professional Development in Agricultural Literacy grant for secondary culinary arts instruction. Please select the category that applies to your project. (If your project includes a school garden and/or greenhouse please select category #4 School Gardens and Greenhouses.)
Grant deadlines for Agricultural Leadership and Statewide Agriculture Education Organization categories will be June 30, August 31, and December 15. Deadlines for Agriculture Awareness and School Garden and Greenhouse categories will be August 31. More information on PDAL Culinary Education Grants will be posted soon.
In 2023 MAITC will begin the transition to an Online Application System. Requests for applications due in June 2023 will be posted soon. We appreciate your patience for the RFA’s for other categories.
2022 Grants Funded
Agriculture Awareness $1,000
Blue Hill Consolidated School - Cori Carter, Blue Hill
The 4th grade class at Blue Hill Consolidated SChool will be jumping into local agriculture by following a potato from seed to sale. These students will also talk to local experts about what's important when you are growing potatoes so they can put this knowledge into practice while growing their own crop of potatoes to harvest in the fall.
Burchard A. Dunn Elementary School - Martha Gill, New Gloucester
What is a Pre-K student's favorite sense? Taste of course! A taste of Maine for Pre-K will give our students the opportunity to taste products such as apples, milk, ample syrup, seaweed, and more, all while learning about how they are made and grown right here in Maine!
The Eddy School, Inc. - Deb Webster, Newry
The Eddy Middle School is entering the Plant-the-Moon challenge: "Participants will join a global science experiment to examine how vegetable crops can grow in lunar soil." We will test the efficacy of our own worm castings and other Maine-made soil additives in our soil and then in the lunar simulant.
Reeds Brook Middle School - Susan Thibedeau, Hampden
RSU 22's Farm and Sea to School Team, in partnership with Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, is planning, designing, and creating a pollinator garden at Reeds Brook Middle School. Students will research which native plants can best sustain local pollinators and design and plant the garden with the assistance of master gardeners. This project will help students understand the connections between plants, crops, insects, and birds, as well as learn practical applications of math, research,and health skills.
The Landing Place - Peter Cooke, Rockland
The Landing Place's Friendship Garden is a fun program for youth to learn how to garden and hangout with positive role models and friends. All youth (6th grade or older) can stop by during drop-in hours to learn about planting, maintaining a garden, and harvesting. During the winter we will be planning the garden and during the spring we will be building new raised beds and planting. Make sure to stick around for the harvest. No registration or fees necessary, just come by to join in the fun!
Chelsea Elementary School - Rosanna Gargiulo, Chelsea
Chelsea Elementary students produce food for their classrooms in their classrooms while learning about fungi and its roles in the ecosystem and food systems.
China Primary School - Miranda Babson, China
There is no better way to encourage children to eat vegetables than letting them grow them. China Primary School will start its first indoor school garden using portable raised bed garden planters which will rotate throughout the school. Multiple-disciplinary nutrition and gardening lessons will be integrated into the school’s curriculum.
Phillips Elementary School - Anna Plog, Phillips
The Phillips Elementary School Garden Program will use a portable growstand to start our seedlings indoors under lights rather than in indirect window light. We will be able to keep the seedlings together in a central location where students see them daily without taking up limited classroom space.
Gorham Middle School - Angela Gospodarek, Gorham
I use aquaponic and hydroponic growing systems in my classroom to expose students to sustainable methods of farming. We compare the efficiency and productivity of both systems. Students plant seeds and monitor plant growth. Data is entered into a database and students analyze the data they collected.
RSU#34 Old Town Elementary - Renee St. Peter, Old Town
OTES fifth graders will be growing mushrooms in our established school garden. In the classroom these students study decomposers as one of their science standards. They will start 4 kits inside and transfer them to the outside garden. They will monitor their growth and health, and when the mushrooms are mature, place them in our school farm stand. Marr Pond Farm will do a presentation about market farming and hands-on mushroom inoculation.
Gerald E. Talbot Community School - Anna Franceschetti, Portland
Every week, during Garden and Living School Yards class, students dig into concepts ranging from how seeds travel to decomposition to taste-testing new fruits and vegetables. This class is an exciting time for students to engage in experiential learning opportunities that are hands-on and connected to Next Generation Science Standards.
Agriculture Awareness $2,000
MSAD 54 Mill Stream Elementary - Samantha Veilleux, Norridgewock
Mill Stream Elementary School's "Planting Seeds of Self-Sufficiency" project is designed to provide life skills around planting, maintaining, and harvesting food from seed to table. Maintaining a garden tower would be the first step in teaching students the process of planting seeds, maintaining and harvesting crops to provide healthy nutritious foods for their tables. It would also be the beginning of creating a gardening program at Mill Stream Elementary.
Alfond Youth and Community Center - Mike Owens, Waterville
AYCC's Sustainable Gardening Program provides a hands-on learning experience with raised beds and community gardens that youth in our early childcare, After School and Summer Enrichment programs plant, tend, and harvest. AYCC seeks funding to create a rock retaining wall to enhance our pollinator education and offer pollinators better habitats.
Etna-Dixmont School - Jane P. Stork, Etna
Funding will allow students to build community connections with local agricultural enterprises. Five to six times throughout the year, students will visit local farmers, participate in farming processes, sample farm products, and gain a better understanding of how each farm is an important food sources or product in our community.
RSU#19 Nokomis Regional Middle/High School - Kieth Kelley, Newport
Harvesting, processing, and producing our own wood from the school’s property to build student guitars and projects. In this project, students will cut lumber to process using a portable saw mill, build a solar powered kiln to dry wood, laminate and plane the wood into blanks for guitar bodies and necks. Once created, students will build their own electric guitars using this material.
Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District - Louisa Crane, Rockport
Pollinator Parties bring together teachers, informal educators, beekeepers, and volunteers to teach 2nd grade students at schools in Knox and Lincoln Counties about pollination through engaging hands-on outdoor learning experiences. Students learn how plants depend on animals for pollinations, linking life sciences with food systems and nutrition.
Maine Academy of Natural Sciences - Jeffry Chase, Hinckley
Maine Academy of Natural Sciences would like to expand upon the educational experiences in our schools’ greenhouses by implementing a new aquaponic system. Adding a new aquaponic system on the other side of the greenhouse would allow us to have more students in our space at one time. Being able to run a new system on campus and continue to train students in proper usage of running an aquaponic system will increase the engagement of our students in their learning, connect these students to vocational opportunities for work, and ultimately allow them to apply their agricultural skills and academic knowledge to meet the needs of their families and of our local community.
Alan Day Community Garden - Rocky Crockett, Norway
The Youth Leadership Program at Alan Day Community Garden and MSAD 17’s Robert’s Farm is a free summer program where teens work together to grow organic produce and foster leadership skills. The experiential curriculum focuses on gardening, cooking, and communication with a strong emphasis on place-based education.
Greater Franklin Food Council - Laura Hoeft, Farmington
The Greater Franklin Food Council school garden program is seeking $2000 in funding to enhance the food education component of its program with the incorporation of a traveling kitchen cart. This cart would enable the facilitator to teach practical lessons in preparing healthy foods, many of which will come from the gardens!
Cultivating Community - Billie Watson, Portland
Cultivating Community is seeking support for our Youth Programs and the Portland Public Schools’ Garden and Living Schoolyard classrooms. We hope to provide gloves, water bottles, and culturally important lessons to our participants. We also hope to issue gift cards to PPS teachers to be used for cooking cart materials.
Cumberland Farmers Club - Carolyn Small, Cumberland
This year Cumberland Fair will include Maine Ag Day at Cumberland Fair. This is a three-hour hands-on experience for students to learn about Maine agriculture. The Cumberland Farmers Club provides grade-appropriate scavenger hunts that guide the visitors to various locations on the fairgrounds, observing animals, vegetables, demonstrations, and all things agriculture.
Ashland District School - Janet Perry, Ashland
As we remain in these very unusual times, Ashland FFA hopes to continue learning about agriculture outside the traditional classroom setting with a five day trip to Eastern States Exposition, W. Springfield, Massachusetts and the surrounding areas in September 2022. We also plan to attend the 2023 zState FFA Convention.
Presque Isle Tech Center - Vicki McCurry, Presque Isle
Students from the Presque Isle chapter of FFA will travel to the Cumberland County Fair in September, 2022 to observe agricultural demonstrations and exhibits and to network with the Maine agricultural community. Chapter officers will gain knowledge and experience in agricultural enterprises and activities, enabling them to assume leadership roles relating to agriculture in their home communities.
Maine FFA Association - Kevin Marquis, Augusta
Since 1930, Maine FFA has helped thousands of students to advance as leaders in agriculture. This year's project supports October 2022 participation by Maine's two student officer delegates in the National FFA Convention, joining the 473 other delegates from across the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
School Garden and Greenhouse
Holbrook Middle School - Brandy Walsh, Holden
Holbrook Middle School would like to complete and expand two existing garden spaces: a vegetable garden and a pollinator garden. The goal of these spaces is to give students meaningful learning experiences by taking the classroom outdoors, and to grow nutritious organic foods that can be enjoyed by the student body and wider community.
Mt. Ararat High School - Darcy Baggett, Topsham
Project GROW is excited to expand the newly installed, collaborative school garden program by adding an educational Maine native pollinator section to our existing vegetable garden, building a garden tool shed, buying necessary garden tools, and creating sustainable composting practices.
Saccarappa Elementary School - Guyla Woodbrey, Westbrook
Saccarappa Elementary School has a school-based gardening program which includes a beautiful outdoor space, greenhouse, and thirteen raised beds. Twelve of the beds need to be replaced due to rot. As the next step in our garden plan, we would like to request funding to purchase corner posts and connectors.
RSU 26 Orono Schools - Jessica Archer, Orono
Garden Development - Connecting Students and Community: Orono Middle School students will work with each other, students in other Orono schools, teachers, and local farmers to learn about best practices for growing and harvesting crops. They will use the garden as a learning center for lessons with younger children and collaborate with older students for educational projects.
Chelsea Elementary School - Rosanna Gargiulo, Chelsea
"Beneficial Buddies" is Chelsea Elementary School’s program to restore good garden bugs and pollinators to our school grounds. Students will learn about reciprocity in environmental and social systems through garden companion planting and negative plant restoration, and they will experience the importance of being and having beneficial buddies.
Sanford Middle School - Diana Allen, Sanford
This is the final phase, at least for a while, of reinvigorating our old greenhouse into a spiffy new aquaponics lab. We will purchase and install large grow tables to increase production and do necessary maintenance and repairs to ensure a long life for our greenhouse.
East Belfast and Nickerson Elementary Schools - Liz Wakem, Belfast & Swanville
East Belfast and Nickerson Schools are part of a vibrant, district-wide effort to bring garden-based learning to all students at all grade levels in RSU#71. With funding for major infrastructure projects secured, we now seek support to equip our outdoor learning spaces with the essentials for long-term success.
Fivetowns CSD/Camden Hills Regional High School - Margo Murphy, Rockport
Deer, groundhog, and porcupine fencing is the critical missing infrastructure we need to keep growing food that feeds our school and community. We had several years of successful growing, ut these critters have discovered the bounty and are quickly devouring more than their share. We need to install effective critter fencing or our outputs will be lost to them.
Montello Elementary School - Ellie Vance, Lewiston
Montello Elementary in Lewiston, Maine plans to use Maine Ag in the Classroom funds to enhance their school garden, which all students have access to. The plan involves building a gate and fence for the garden to better enclose it as an outdoor classroom, and to provide vertical gardening equipment that can be used in tandem with modular garden beds.
Marcia Buker Elementary School - Lisa Wells, Richmond
Marcia Buker Elementary School has a thriving Garden Group for our PreK-5th grade students and is looking to increase the number and type of supplies available for student and staff use in growing and stewarding our garden spaces and programs.
Statewide Agriculture Organization
Maine School Garden Network - Susan Joy Sager, Augusta
The School Garden Grown! (SGG) program offers an opportunity for local school gardens to promote awareness of the benefits of their program in the community where they are located and show off their garden's bounty by exhibiting their produce at their local agricultural fair with SGG display stickers on their school garden produce.
Maine School Garden Network - Susan Sager, Augusta
The Maine School Garden Network offers school garden coordinators and educators relevant information through our monthly newsletter. We want to take our monthly newsletter to a new level and sustain it by supporting time to plan issues, solicit and write profiles to build on the expanded format started in 2022.
University of Maine 4-H Foundation - Alisha Targonski, Orono
The Teen Ag Symposium, hosted by UMaine 4-H, is an overnight experience for Maine youth ages 14-18. Participants will take part in hands-on learning opportunities and engage with industry professionals on the UMaine Orono campus. In addition to learning about food systems, participants will develop leadership skills and make friendships with teens from around the state. Current 4-H membership is not required.
Maine School Garden Network - Susan Sager, Augusta
Many changes have taken place in school gardens due to the pandemic. As we plan how to serve school gardens going forward, we need support for the staff time needed to update the listings in the Garden Directory so we can conduct a new Network Survey and analyze the results.