2010 Education Grants Funded
The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Council had $50,000 to offer in 2010 in support of Maine agriculture education in grades Kindergarten through 12 as a direct result of the Maine Agricultural Specialty License Plate. We accepted applications for two different levels of funding — up to $1,000 and up to $5,000.
Agriculture Leadership Grants — $1,000
Ashland FFA – Janet Perry, advisor -- $1,000
Funding will be used for FFA students enrolled in Agricultural classes to travel to the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA in September to compete in agricultural contests, visit a wide variety of Ag. Exhibits and experience agriculture from across New England, which can be very different from northern Maine.
Caribou FFA- Thomas Hale, advisor -- $950
Caribou FFA will host, lead and plan this event for third grade students from the surrounding towns of Connor, New Sweden, Woodland, Limestone, Fort Fairfield, and Caribou. Through stations at the Agri-Science shop they will learn about plants, animals, and agriculture's role in the American food system.
Agriculture Awareness Grants — $1,000
Kristin Reindl & Suzanne Berzinis – People's Regional Opportunity Program -- $1,000
A series of six field trips will expose children to local agriculture and natural history while integrating concepts from Maine science and social studies standards. The staff will build upon this experience using extension activities consistent with the 8 developmental domains using ME Early Childhood Learning Guidelines.
Kristin Reindl & Kelly Burgess - People's Regional Opportunity Program -- $1,000
These urban students have little understanding of agriculture beyond a visit to the grocery store. This program, through cooperation with the school district, will allow them to visit 6 local farms over the year and learn first hand what happens there and how the products get to them. Teacher will participate in the MAITC Summer Teacher's Institute and gain lessons to accompany farm visits.
Sandra Richards – Rose M. Gaffney School, Machias -- $1,000
Funding will be used to add a Healthful Foods awareness component to the two pre-school classrooms. Students will be provided with healthy snacks and lessons will be integrated into the Health, Language Arts, Science and Math curricula. Fresh Farm snacks will add to the education component on the value of eating healthy. Teachers attended the 2009 Summer Institute and received many ideas and activities.
Margy Burns Knight - Service Learning Coordinator – Winthrop -- $524.50
Inspired by the Garden Buddies program, pre-K cooperating with 7th grade in 09-10, students at Winthrop Grade School will work together with volunteers from the community to continue and expand the garden adjacent to the school. Students will plant, tend, harvest and eat these vegetables. Reading partners and multi-age projects are used.
Erik Wade – Hope Elementary School -- $500
All the students at this school will be involved in growing their own produce and incorporating it into the school lunch program. They will learn experientially about growing their own food, composting and sustainable gardening. Community members, UMCE, and local farmers will be involved. The Maine Apprentice Gardener Program is being used to teach science and resource conservation.
2010 MAITC School Garden Grants Funded -- $2,000
Rebecca Jacobs – Common Ground School Garden, Thomaston
This project will involve fifth grade students and educators that have been planning this garden during the 2009-10 school year and are ready to implement their ideas. The grant will provide technical and educational assistance as well as materials such as loam, compost, plants and tools. The Outreach coordinator will meet monthly with the class bringing a new lesson related to their garden and best management practices for each topic. A Learning Expedition Planner has been developed by the educators that outlines topics, content, standards, and targets.
Lou Ann Parker – Benton School Garden Project, MSAD#49
This project will create a school garden where 650 children can learn from an outdoor classroom about healthy eating, physical fitness, and the value of locally grown food. The garden, with documented support of the administration and over 60 teachers, will be woven into studies across the curriculum. Environmental awareness, personal growth, healthy lifestyles, social awareness, and community involvement will all be learned while everyone involved is having a FUN working together!
Casey Cote – The Growing Classroom, Woodland
A yearlong delivery of an elementary school curriculum that teaches children agricultural concepts through an experiential learning approach. Maine Apprentice Gardener Program aims to educate students about the importance of agriculture and the environment to their daily lives, and apply what they learn to develop a school garden. This agriculture-based curriculum is not an add-on, meeting many of the Maine Learning Results requirements. It is cross-disciplinary and provides practice not only in science, but also in language, creative arts, health and math.
Daniel Morang – Perry's Green Dream, Perry
The Perry Elementary School 5th and 6th grades along with the Perry 4-H Club will set up a permanent, year round, greenhouse and raised beds at the school. Students will grow produce for the cafeteria and the "Mustang Market", a student run farmer's market. Students will compost cafeteria wastes usually thrown away and donate any extra produce to the local food pantry. Lessons will be useful to all teachers in the school.
Deborah Emery – Cottrell Greenhouse Project, Monmouth
This project will focus first on planting, transplanting and harvesting through the use of the existing school greenhouse. In the fall the students will share their locally grown food through a community supper. Students will plan the meal and provide written materials for the event. A service-learning project will donate plants to local charities. All of the activities will be integrated into classroom curriculum.
Richard Rudolph – Hollis Garden Project, Hollis
Students at the Hollis Elementary School will be involved in growing their own food in the greenhouse/garden project. Lessons are fun, hands-on and tied to the Maine Learning Results. Utilizing an Americorp Vista volunteer, students will explore the food system, food insecurity, ecological approaches to growing food, nutrition, and the importance of physical activity and healthy diets. Throughout the year, students will grow produce for their own school cafeteria as well as local food pantries, giving students a chance to contribute to their community as well.
Victor Esposito, Jr. Vassalboro Garden Project, Vassalboro
This project will help to establish and expand a school garden involving Project REACH, which is a year-round experiential program for students with barriers to school success and completion. Students will grow and tend the plants and in the fall produce will be used in the school cafeteria, sold at a roadside stand, and provided to needy families of the project's students. Volunteers come from the community, school and the Project REACH staff.
Ag Awareness Grants Funded up to $5,000
Aaron Buzza – Educational Farm Tour Experience -- $4,416
MSAD#1 Educational Farm will improve the fall educational farm tours given to over 2,300 area students and adults from 8 surrounding school systems. A canopy, safer seating system, railing and access stairs will be added to the trailer to make it safer and more suitable for all types of weather. The project will be completed for fall tours in 2010. Alignment of the tours to the MLR will be completed by participating teachers this fall.
Rob Taylor – Agriculture and Architecture, Permaculture Dome Project -- $4,600
Initial funding for this project was received from a STEM grant with construction starting in June 2010. Funds were needed to complete the project and to implement a year round permaculture program inside the new greenhouse. Planting boxes, irrigation systems, equipment and supplies will be added for students to use systems powered by renewable energy systems. Activities and lessons will be aligned to MLR and incorporate STEM based curricula.
Kevin Duplissie – Children’s Minds Need Growing -- $4,600
This project will expose the 40+ children at the UMO Child Study Center, their families, and 50+ University students to the concepts of what agriculture provides for them and how. Using resources from Maine Ag in the Classroom, books, and other materials, university students will lead weekly lessons, which will be followed up with growing projects, fieldtrips, and class activities throughout the entire year. This project will foster the UMO’s strong roots in agriculture to utilize college students to foster awareness in our youngest students.
Mary D. Bird – Fiber-Maine-ia Classroom Outreach Project -- $4,048
This project will engage K – 8 teachers and students in learning the importance of fiber farming in Maine. A classroom kit will be developed and distributed and professional development workshops will be presented for teachers. Skills will be shared at the Maine Fiber Frolic and other events across the state.
Andrew Marshall - Educational Opportunities at Common Ground Fair -- $4,600
MOFGA for years has offered free admission to school groups that attend the Common Ground Fair. As travel costs have increased and school budgets are dwindling getting to the fair has become a real hardship for many schools. This grant will help to fund busses for local school groups that wish to attend the fair. Special educational programs and displays have been added for these students. Programs will be aligned to the MLR.
Sandy Warren – The Food Around Us -- $4,002
Over 60 home school students at the library in grades PK – 12 will participate in this educational and service learning project highlighting the rich sources of food and agricultural products in our local communities. Books and media will be added to the collection, with discussion groups, children’s readings and hands-on activities. Classroom activities, field trips and work in a local food pantry as well as an online service-learning project. Presenters will attend the Summer Teacher’s Institute. Previously aligned lessons will be incorporated as well as alignment of the new lessons with 8 previously identified objectives.
Sharon Hathaway – Exploring the River Valley -- $4,553
Students will be exposed to a new course this fall, which will foster connections among students staff and the community through agricultural and natural resource opportunities and historical study. The focus will begin with increasing the awareness of agriculture in the district towns. Creating visual exhibits of local farms and agricultural sites, working and learning on local farms, conducting laboratory research in agricultural science, and connecting agricultural study across the curriculum areas of the MLR will provide students with knowledge and skills to become peer educators for school-wide agricultural theme based activities.