2023 Education Grants Funded
Agriculture Awareness $1,000
Brightfield School - Lorna Fake, Bath
At the new place-based Brightfield School teachers will take students to visit small local farms in the area, buy a winter CSA and use the produce to cook meals for the school community. In the spring students will visit three local farmers markets and prepare more community meals.
JA Leonard Middle School - Doretta Callahan, Old Town
Our students would like to create an apple orchard on school grounds. This project dovetails with our service project for our school community as well as with our 7th grade science unit on sustainability and the impact of eating/growing local produce.
Sabattus Recreation Garden Club - Kelli Gilzow Stowell, Sabattus
The possibility of potager plots for PreK-2nd grade community garden classroom engagement is endless. This project’s design has allotted 12 plots for staff and students of Sabattus Primary School. Extending engagement for community members to participate in an Out-of-School time & Family Literacy events during the summers and vacation breaks.
Burchard A. Dunn Elementary School - Pre-K - Martha Gill, New Gloucester
Pre-K students love trucks! As we take our students to experience agriculture first-hand, thanks to the specialty license plate, we will track the places we visit and encourage our families to share the places they visit as the Pre-K Goes Trucking through Maine to learn about our great state's agriculture.
Messalonskee High School - Jonathan Sawyer, Oakland
Students in biology classes, health class, and a newly formed Agriculture Club will receive hands-on garden, plant biology, and nutrition lessons using indoor classroom gardens. They will learn about plant development, various horticulture techniques, and growing food year round.
Belgrade Central School - Fayth White, Belgrade
Agriculture comes alive at Belgrade Central School. Instead of learning about gardening online or from print sources, students will receive hands-on agriculture lessons while planting, growing, and nurturing plants in indoor garden carts. The lessons will take place throughout the school year regardless of season.
China Middle School - Kirsten Pelletier, China
China Middle School students will plant indoor gardens and receive hands-on learning experiences throughout the school year. During interdisciplinary garden lessons students will learn requirements for plant growth and their basic maintenance and care. Eating the foods they have grown will be a nutritious and delicious lesson for students.
Wiscasset Elementary School - Becky Hallowell, Wiscasset
Eating the Data helps students engage in the growing of their own food and collecting data regarding plant growth. The plants will be tended by students in grades 3-5. They will select the vegetables and herbs they wish to grow, and monitor the plants from seedlings to harvest.
Agriculture Awareness $2,000
Fort Kent Community High School - Brooke Nadeau, Fort Kent
A classroom hydroponic system offers hands-on learning about plant growth, biology, and sustainability. Students set up and manage the system, monitor nutrient levels, and observe plant development. It is an interactive way to teach science, problem-solving, and environmental concepts while fostering teamwork and curiosity.
Chelsea Elementary School - Rosanna Gargiulo, Chelsea
What does kelp growing in the Gulf of Maine have to do with kale growing in our school garden? In this year-long project, students will explore connections between the food we grow and eat at school and the flora and fauna of the Kennebec watershed.
Nokomis Regional Middle School - Eric Robinson, Newport
Construction of and integration of an evaporation house for processing maple syrup. The process of producing maple syrup would be integrated into the seventh grade science unit related to thermal energy transfer and the kinetic energy of particles that make up matter.
Etna-Dixmont School - Jane Stork, Etna
Funding will allow students to continue to build community connections with local agriculture. Throughout the year, students will visit local farmers, participate in farming processes, sample products, and gain a better understanding of the history of each farm and if it is an important food source or product in our community.
Gray- New Gloucester Middle School - Katie Josephs, Gray
Middle schoolers consistently seek ways to engage with the world around them. This grant will allow students to engage with hands-on learning experiences while maintaining a complete aquaculture system. Through collaboration with local businesses, scientists, and hatcheries, students will experience a unique piece of agriculture in their community.
Easton FFA - Kevin Marquis, Easton
Students will be introduced to DNA concepts for breeding dairy cattle, nutritional requirements for good milk production and the use of waste material to generate electricity. Visits to veterinary pharma manufacturers, seaweed harvesters, metal fabrication sites and other ag related industries.
School Garden and Greenhouse
Katahdin Elementary School - Gabrielle Brown, Stacyville
The Native Blueberry Patch at Katahdin Elementary School will connect students from Pre-K to 5th grade to one of Maine’s most iconic crops. The patch will grant students hands-on opportunities to connect to one of Maine's most iconic crops and provide our cafeteria with blueberries to serve.
Rangeley Lakes Regional School - Darlene Woodman, Rangeley
A greenhouse allows students to experience all aspects of sustainable vegetable production on a small, local scale, by building and managing a system for growing produce to support school-wide food experiences. When students grow their own food and understand its origins, they will be better caretakers of this earth.
MSAD59 - Main St. Middle School - Julie Wallace, Madison
KVMPA is a 7-12 grade alternative education program that uses agriculture career exploration as the core of its curriculum. They grow all of the lettuce for their district. This project will allow more students to access these amazing resources.
MSAD 70 - Rita Gardiner, Hodgdon
We had to change the garden plot due to finding PFAS. Greenhouse soil needs replacing due to water contamination. We would like to incorporate some field trips to local farms with the students to help them get a better sense of the history and agricultural economy in this area.
Mt. Ararat Middle School - John Hawley, Topsham
Students will construct raised garden beds. They will be maintained by students and staff. The fresh produce will be available to the school community, as well as the community at large, through both the cafeteria lunch choices and the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program Mt. Ararat Middle School Community Pantry.
Mt. Ararat High School - Darcy Baggett, Topsham
Project GROW is Mt. Ararat High School's young but excitingly successful collaborative school garden program. It offers all students at MTA an opportunity for hands-on, environment-based, and therapeutic learning experiences accessed by all academic disciplines. A combined vegetable and Maine native garden, it offers traditional gardening opportunities and far more.
Orono Middle School - Jessica Archer, Orono
Orono Middle School students will collaborate with elementary school partners to learn about planting, maintaining, and harvesting. They will learn how to cook using harvested produce and how to start and maintain compost. Collections of books will support learning about pollinators, flowers, composting and other concepts.
Alfond Youth & Community Center - Zoe Mason, Waterville
The Alfond Youth & Community Center is seeking supplies and materials to support our Garden to Table program which serves year-round garden education to approximately 175 youth. Our rare facilities include our 42-foot greenhouse growing dome, community garden, raised rows, flowerbeds, and aquaponic and hydroponic learning labs.
Presque Isle Tech Center - Vicki McCurry, Presque Isle
Students from the Presque Isle chapter of FFA will travel to The Big E in September, 2023 to compete in career development events and to observe agricultural demonstrations and exhibits. Students will gain knowledge and experience in agricultural enterprises and activities, enabling them to assume agricultural leadership roles.
Maine FFA Association - Emily Doughty, Augusta
Since 1930, the Maine FFA has provided thousands of students opportunities to develop as leaders. This year’s project supports State Officer Summit participation by Maine’s two student officer delegates in Washington DC, joining almost 500 other delegates from across the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Ashland District School - SAD 32 - Janet Perry, Ashland
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 2023; we also plan to attend the 2024 State FFA Convention.
Fryeburg Academy - Jennifer Solter-Jones, Fryeburg
We are a newly formed FFA chapter in Western Maine. Our students competed this spring at Maine State Convention in the Nursery and Landscape Career Development Event. They qualified to compete in November at Nationals in Indianapolis. By attending this competition they will develop their leadership skills also.
Statewide Agriculture Organization
Maine School Garden Network - Susan Sager, Augusta
The Maine School Garden Network has retained Just One Look Media LLC to make a 5 minute video to use for promotional purposes. The centerpiece of the video to illustrate our work is Maine School Garden Day with testimonials regarding the importance and value of Maine School Garden Network.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area - Renee Page, Gardiner
Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute - a year-long professional program convening six school district teams to build farm and sea to school programs through action planning and with Coach support to bring agriculture education into the Classroom, increase local food in the Cafeteria, and build Community support.
Maine School Garden Network - Susan Sager, Augusta
Our free Annual Meeting will be held Friday, November 3rd at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm in Falmouth with the theme Sowing the Seeds for Learning. The meeting will include a tour of the grounds, professional development programs on Native Plants and Grains followed by a business meeting and potluck supper.