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First Cycle   (April 2002)

Grant 1: Maggie's Garden

The summer and fall of 2002, I will continue expanding and enriching my garden puppet show, "Maggie’s Garden", which toured Farmer’s Markets throughout Berkshire County in 2001. The response to last years performances and the financial support from Berkshire Grown has enabled me to continue exploring the way in which a puppet show can link children and their families to local farms. By enlarging Maggie’s Garden and deepening its educational value I will be able to target an elementary school audience. With the support of MAC, Inc. Maggie’s Garden 2002, would be performed for Kindergarten through fourth grades in four elementary schools in Berkshire County. Each show will end with a visit from a local farmer, a gift from that farm, i.e. an apple, honey sticks, a carrot, and a Berkshire Grown Farm Map. The puppets will ask questions and help the farmer bring humor and excitement to the prospect of visiting their Farm and the Local Farmers Market where they sell their produce and ornamentals. In addition to the performance, I will be helping to co-ordinate visits to the farm as a part of the schools fall activities so the final word from the farmer can be "See you on the farm."

Contact: Meredyth Babcock 1640 Home Road Great Barrington, MA 01230

Project Duration: Summer and fall 2002

Mini-Grant Award: $600


Grant  2       Urban Gardening With School Children

In our second year of creating an organic school garden, we are looking to create a series of raised bed gardens in which students in middle and high school can grow vegetables and flowers. The Academy of the Pacific Rim is a 6-11th grade charter school located in a renovated factory building in Hyde Park. Many students who attend the Academy come from urban areas, and the APR Garden Club was created in an attempt to foster an appreciation for agriculture and fresh produce. The gardens have been created, tended and maintained by students under the guidance of teacher Melissa Edwards.

Contact: Melissa Edwards Academy of the Pacific Rim 1 Westinghouse Plaza Hyde Park, MA 02135

Project Duration: Spring and Fall 2002

Mini-Grant Award: $600


2nd Cycle    (September 2002)


Grant 1        A Three Season Study of Massachusetts Agriculture

This academic year, the sixty grade one students of the Franklin School in Brockton will immersed in the study of apples, pumpkins, cranberries, maple sugaring, planting and growing both a vegetable and a flower garden, as well as the farm environment. In addition to classroom study, product sampling, record keeping and formal writing, the children will visit an apple orchard, a cranberry bog, a maple sugaring site and a farm. While there, the students will develop a better understanding of the processes involved in the growing of food and the unique environment of each product. The classes will comprehend the importance of the farmer, as well as the economic dispersion, while following the crop from harvesting to market.

Contact: Lorraine M. Aveni First Grade Teacher Franklin School 59 Sawtell Avenue Brockton,  MA 02301

Project Duration:    Fall of 2002 and Spring and Summer of 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $1,500 


Grant 2.     Adopt A Trout Aquaculture Program

In partnership with Westport Middle School teachers, the Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) is proposing to develop curriculum and a field study for an in-class aquaculture project. Eight grade students at Westport Middle School will raise brook trout from eggs and use the fish as a context to study aquaculture, biology, ecology, environmental science and chemistry. The teachers involved with the project have past experience raising fish in their 250 gallon tank. Expenses for the project include the purchase of a chiller, which is necessary to raise trout, and fees for time spent developing the curriculum, which will become a new component of WRWA’s existing Watershed Education Program. We feel the objectives of the project fit well with Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom’s goals.

Contact: Dan Herzlinger, Westport River Watershed Alliance P. O. Box 3427 Westport, MA 02790

Project Duration: 2002

Mini-Grant Award: $1,500


3rd Cycle    (November 2002)


Grant 1    Greenhouse Gardens

The Pearl Rhodes Elementary School in Leyden, has a wonderful site that is rural and idyllic. Recently, through a memorial donation, the school has been given a small greenhouse for the activities at the school. The greenhouse is not totally complete and it is up to the school to finish the project. The staff and children have worked on a curriculum to support the children’s activities in this area. The greenhouse will offer children, community and the school an opportunity to watch the growing process for plants from start to finish, ending with a great final product - plants that are ready to be transplanted to the grounds outside. The children come out of this project learning a number of things. They learn that there is more than one way to have a garden, there are many types of plants that can be grown at home in small areas and that there is a system and method of caring for their mini-greenhouse. Children will also learn how to conduct research, design a project, choose materials, and to actually create their own project.

Contact: Wallace McCloud, Principal Pearl Rhodes Elementary School 7 Brattleboro Road Leyden, MA 01301

Project Duration: Spring 2003 to Fall 2002

Mini-Grant Award: $750


Grant 2     Thunder Hill 4-H Shed

Thunder Hill 4-H Club is an active leasing sheep program. We have been in existence for the past 12 years. We have been homeless for the last two years and have been housing the animals at several kind people’s houses. We are currently using pastures at a home in Sherborn. We have entered into a lease with the Medfield Conservation Commission to use several acres as a home of our own. We have been working with several town boards for the last year and are finally ready to begin building. Our next hurdle is securing financing for the materials for this building. This is why we are writing to you. We anticipate the cost of the materials for the structure to be approximately $3567. We have already raised funds for, and installed electric fencing. Our members come from Westwood, Walpole, Sharon and Milton. Since we have not been able to be open to the public, we have been doing a successful program we call "Ewes to You" in which we take the sheep to different classrooms for hands-on activities and distribute wool to the students.

Contact: Cathy Quinn, Thunder Hill 4-H 117 Lakeshore Drive Westwood, MA 02090

Project Duration:   Not identified

Mini-Grant Award:   $500


Grant 3    Planting The Idea

Planting the Idea ... A twelve month plan to integrate agriculture, food and people into our educational curriculum, as well as supporting the Massachusetts Department of Education’s Curriculum Frameworks for students age three through thirteen. Kiddie Kamp, Inc., is a full time, full-year program offering education and care for children. We will have approximately 200 students involved in the program. We have developed the enclosed plan to run through out the year, to teach our students how they interact with, are influenced by, and can participate in their environment: giving them an awareness of how important our earthly resources are.

Contact: Marjorie Nunes, Executive Director Kiddie Kamp, Inc. 26 and 31 Old Westport Road North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Project Duration:    November 2002 through September 2003 Audience: 200 city pre-school students

Mini-Grant Award:    $600


Grant 4     Hydroponic Aquaculture Combined with Tensiometer Controlled Irrigation for Fruit Trees

With the money supplied by this grant a hydroponic aquaculture station will be created within the classroom. Tilapia will be raised in large tanks. Waste water generated from the aquaculture operation will circulate through a series of troughs of plants (ex. Herbs, lettuce). A variety of digital probes (already in our possession) will enable the continuous computer monitoring of dissolved oxygen levels, pH, nutrient levels and other water parameters to keep the fish healthy. These probes will also allow us to measure nutrient reduction by the hydroponic portion of our hydroponic aquaculture center. In addition to running this waste water through herbs and other plant during the winter months a tensiometer (computer controlled) controlled irrigation systems will also be connected to this aquiculture center where wastewater irrigation water will be supplied as warranted to small fruit trees grown within the classroom under growth lights. During the spring these fruit trees will be planted outside on the school grounds and the tensiometer controlled irrigation system will be installed by the students as a class exercise to supply irrigation water during the spring and summer months. This program enhances an understanding of agriculture and farming by showing students a new technology some farmers are using to enhance the bottom line and grow cash crops. Due to the increasing water shortages during the summer months new methods of irrigation also need to be found.

Contact: Steve Wilkins, Earth Science Department Lexington High School 251 Waltham Street Lexington, MA 02173

Project Duration: Spring 2003 to Fall 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000


Grant 5     Teaching Our Children the Beauty and Benefits of Gardening"

Starting January 2003, I will be teaching gardening to several groups of kids. I hope to reach all age groups. An eight week program has been drawn up, but it can be altered to fit the needs of the groups. These are an enrichment class and an after school program for Sanderson Academy Elementary School. I have a gardening 4-H club that consists of 4 kids, with more kids coming on board. My. Son’s fourth grade teacher has asked me to help her with the curriculum. The items purchased with this grant will be used this year and for many years to come. My goal is to be able to teach children the many different methods of gardening. To accomplish this the kids will learn by doing.

Contact:    Robyn Crowningshield 112 Stroheker Road Ashfield, MA 01330

Project Duration: January 2003 Eight week program

Mini-Grant Award:   $500


Grant 6     Spring Planting to Fall Harvesting of Massachusetts Agriculture

Next spring, the 4-H’ers in my group, The Rocking Rabbits, will be planting and growing vegetables that have nutritional benefits to humans as well as rabbits. In addition to researching which vegetables can be fed to both humans and animals, product sampling at the time of harvesting, record keeping, the 4-H’ers will visit a farmers’ market to find out just how important our farms are, as well as finding out the different costs for vegetables as t farmer’s market as opposed to a supermarket. Our main goal is to find out what benefits some vegetables have for rabbits, while learning just how much hard work it takes to produce these products.

Contact: Kathy Nye,    The Rocking Rabbits 4-H Club    P.O. Box 115      15 Church Street South Carver, MA 02366-0115

Project Duration:   February to October 2003

Mini-Grant Award:   $200


Grant 7    How Can We Control the Quality and Diversity of Produce?

Students participating in our project will explore the following essential question: How Can we control the quality and diversity of produce? Through experiments, research, and service learning collaboration with a local organic farm, students will learn about how variable can be manipulated to change natural cycles. They will study where different fruits and vegetables come from and what they require to grow. Students will also develop a greater understanding of the local and global impact of their eating habits. As a culminating project, they will produce detailed Field Guides to give to local markets. Through their work, students will develop a greater understanding of farming and agriculture, on both local and global level. Not only will students learn more about local farming they will also study diverse regions in order to understand how techniques, needs and resources vary from community to community.

Contact: Sally Kent and Alison Doernberg, Framingham Community Charter School 25 Clinton Street Framingham, MA 01702

Project Duration:   November 2002 to June 2003

Mini-Grant Award:   $750


Grant 8    Bringing Agriculture to Life

Plimoth Plantation and the Plymouth County 4-H Youth and Family Development Program area requesting a $1,500 grant to assist with the development of a new curriculum that will teach youth about rare livestock breeds and instruct them in educating the public about the importance of agriculture both in our past and to our future. The name of the project will be "Bringing Agriculture to Life." Bringing Agriculture to Life is a collaborative effort to increase the agricultural education of youth and to increase the understanding of the importance of livestock agriculture to the public at large. he purpose of this program is to help both youth and adults understand the value of agriculture.

Contact: Cindy Barber, Plimoth Plantation Farm Program Assistant Manager P.O. Box 1620 Plymouth, MA 02362  and Amy S. McCune, 4-H Extension Educator, P.O. Box 658 Hanson, MA 02341

Project Duration: November 2002 to November 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $800


Grant 9     Boston 4-H Urban Stewards: Growing Community, Taking Action, Building A Greener Future

Working in partnership with Eagle Eye Institute, young people from low-income urban communities are introduced to urban ecology and particularly to the beauty and care of trees in their neighborhoods. Through hands-on community-based work, educational workshops and field trips with industry professionals, urban youth improve their skills and knowledge base of the value of (street/park) trees in an urban environment and of the issues related to the growth, care sale/purchase, maintenance, health and protection of these trees. Participants develop their ability to think critically about what it takes to sustain a healthy natural environment; learn how to assess the health of urban trees; grasp what it takes to grow robust trees in an urban environment; and gain a knowledge base with which they can evaluate competing claims about the costs and benefits of conservation and sustainable agriculture – claims that as citizens, they must decide.

Contact: Rita Renee Toll-DuBois 4-H Youth & Family Development Program, 209 Green Street 2nd Floor Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Project Duration: November 2002 through October 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $300


Grant 10     Growing Cranberries on Mars

The Project is Growing Cranberries on Mars. The object is to grow a cranberry plant in a space station environment. Fifty people will live in this space station for one year. The goals is for students to learn two concepts: the Mars environment in comparison and contrast to Earth and the cultivation of a cranberry plant as a food source. Students will compare Earth and Mars relative to gravity, atmosphere, weather, soils, sun, survival needs of humans, water properties and plant nutrients. The project involves discussion, outlining ideas, research, design and construction. Two groups of six 7th and 8th grade students have elected to be in this Science Enrichment Program. Each group will construct a space station of flat poster boars. Presentations will be given to the community.

Contact: Pamela Caradimos St Margaret Regional School 143 Main Street Buzzards Bay, MA 02532

Project Duration:  November 2002 to July 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $250

MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2002

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