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First Cycle   (April 2003)

Grant 1: The Natural Classroom

The Natural Classroom will be a gardening area in the back of the school where a class can go with their teacher for a lesson. There will be benches arranged in a semi-circle for 24 students to sit and a raised stage for the teacher. There will be a gardening area, a small pond with a fountain, bird feeders, trees, shrubs and flowering plants. At one side of the proposed area, there will be a greenhouse for students to grow plants during the winter and spring months. The natural classroom can be used during the entire school year by all teachers will all classes.

Contact:  Heidi Emmons, Howe Manning Elementary School, 26 Central Street, Middleton, MA 01949

Project Duration: June 2003 to June 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $500


Grant 2       Growing Closer

The 4-H Envirothon team is applying for a Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom grant to fund supplies for a program called "Growing Closer". The objective is to provide an educational program about agriculture to engage youth and/ or adults in hands-on environmental science activities; to include information about food and fiber, literacy links, problems that farmers encounter, and several town boards for the last year and are finally ready to begin building. The team will advertise the program in local newspapers, the 4-H newsletter, Chamberlain farmstand and local libraries.

Contact: Nancy Possinger, 4-H Envirothon Team, UMass Extension 4-H Youth & Family Development Program, 84 Center Street, Dighton, MA 02715

Project Duration: July 7th to July 28th, 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $150


Grant 3        Farm, Food & Fiber Education Center

Coonamessett Farm inhabits a unique position in the community. Located in the heart of Cape Cod, this 20-acre farm and research facility is on the cutting edge of small farm operations. With over 100 schools within a 30 mile radius, Coonamesset Farm is situated to become a leading educational resource center. In 2002, the farm pioneered its educational program taking advantage of strong community support and positive feedback. In 2003, we would like to expand and enhance our facilities. Our primary goal is to help school children of all ages to experience life on a farm, to understand the diversity and complexity of animal and plant life, and to learn where their food comes from! With this support, we will develop and provide more interesting programs for visiting classrooms by developing the "Farm, Food and Fiber Education Center."

Contact: Ronald and Roxanna Smolowitz, Coonamesset Farm, 277 Hatchville Road, East Falmouth, MA 02536

Project Duration: 10 months summer 2003 to Spring 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000 


Grant 4.        Small Farms and Chicken Coops for First Graders

A comprehensive program will provide an opportunity for the first grades to participate in a hands-on experience involving planning, developing and maintaining a small flock of chickens, small farm and materials with which to promote their enterprise to the community. Students activities will be guides through a framework of routines and programs designed and taught by Red Gate Farm

Students will have the opportunity to learn about chickens through the Traveling Chicken program, and then will apply their knowledge by helping to start their own coop at school. The small farm will be developed with particular emphasis on composting and food production. This effort will be enhanced with a visit to the Red Gate Farm’s Compost and Cycles of Life programs. Student-created booklets about Newspaper Gardening will be distributed throughout the community. The experience will culminate with a Harvest Celebration day for all participants, their families and the community.

Contact: JoAnn Roselli, First Grade Teacher, Franklin Avenue School, 22 Franklin Avenue, Westfield, MA 01089   

Project Duration: April 28 to June 17, 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $600


Grant 5        Raised Bed Irrigation Tree Nursery

To provide funding for irrigating raised beds built as part of a previous grant from Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom and convert one or more of the beds to a seedling tree nursery. Growing plants in a garden is an excellent educational tool. We would like to establish a tree nursery in one or more of the existing beds. The educational advantage to this are many. Horticulture students will learn about tree varieties and the care and planting of nursery stock. Trees grown in the program will be used in the"greening" of Worcester. Our goal is to provide trees to other schools in Worcester to plant on their school grounds as part of arbor Day ceremonies. In this way each tree will not only help to instruct students how to grow seedling trees and nursery stock but will help to bring the issue of planting trees to the attention of students and the public throughout the ci ty.

Contact: R. J. Anderson & Brenda Helleberg, Burncoat High School, 179 Burncoat Street, Worcester, MA 01606

Project Duration: Starting spring of 2003 into the future

Mini-Grant Award: $1,500  


Grant 6     Connections With Agriculture

4-H Camp Howe would like to create a Connections with Agriculture program. Our goal is to move their current farm program into an educational program dedicated to bridging the youth’s knowledge of their food sources and tracing the cycle from the farm to their table and back to the farm. We will educate the youth on the role of farmers in preservation of open space, sustainable agriculture systems and the current and historical role of agriculture to the local economy. This will be accomplished through creating a pasture suitable for rotational grazing, creating an agricultural curriculum for camps and setting up a composting system.

Contact: Terrie Campbell, Camp Howe, Inc., 1 Forest Road, Goshen, MA 01032

Project Duration: mid April through October 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $400


2nd Cycle    (September 2003)


Grant 1        Apples - The Field Trip for Grade 2

Early into the school year, second grade students begin a comprehensive study of apples. Students participate in various hands-on activities in the classroom. These activities involve learning about living things, focusing on apple trees, the growth of apples, and comparing and sampling varieties of apples. Activities in this thematic unit are closely tied to reading, social studies, language arts and math. As a culmination of this unit of study, a trip to the Big Apple in Wrentham, MA is planned. Here students will see and learn the workings of an orchard, care of trees, storage and sorting of apples, as well as, the production of cider and other food products made from apples.

The trip to the Big Apple will enhance students’ knowledge and provide an opportunity to combine their knowledge of apples and apple trees with a life experience that many would not have outside the school.

Contact: Joanne Paul, Dr. William Arnone School, 135 Belmont Street, Brockton, MA 02301

Project Duration: September 15 to October 13, 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $530 


Grant 2.     Botany in the Inner-City Classroom: An Agricultural Outreach Field Trips to Massachusetts Farms

This grant will support two field trips, one in the fall and one in the spring, from the end of October 2003 to mid-April 2004. The October field trip will have two parts. The first will consist of a visit to the Botanic Garden of Smith College, viewing and touring the Lyman Plant House (greenhouse) and the Systematic's Garden. The second part will visit Mike’s Corn Maze in Sunderland, MA, which employs a creative, educational alternative to the corn farm. The March field trip will also tour the Botanic Garden of Smith College in Northampton, then tour McCray’s Farm, a maple sugar producer in South Hadley. The tour would conclude with a breakfast buffet featuring maple food products. Smith College’s Manger of Education and Outreach, Madelaine Zadik, has graciously offered bus transportation money for the fall field trip. Both field trips will require a research project from students as follow-up.

Contact: Naomi Volain, Science Teacher, Springfield Central High School, 1840 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield, MA 01108  

Project Duration: Fall 2003 through Spring 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $735


Grant 3.     "Sheeptacular Pittsfield" School Enrichment Program

Approval for our request for funds will allow us to bring "Sheeptacular Pittsfield" school enrichment programs to Pittsfield fourth and fifth grade students. In a series of three workshops in each school, students in the Pittsfield school system will learn about the important contributions of Merino sheep and the woolen industry to this country. In 1837, there were 136,962 sheep producing $250,000 worth of wool. The woolen industry in Pittsfield in 1875 produced $1.9 million, half the total goods produced. These statistics show how important Merinos and the woolen industry were to the country.

The Artscape Committee organizes "Sheeptacular Pittsfield." This zany, art promotion project will tie art to Merino sheep and woolen industry’s role in Berkshire County. Part of the mission of the "Sheeptacular Pittsfield" project is to increase cultural enrichment in the public schools.

Contact: Mary L. Rentz Berkshire Art Association, C/O Downtown Inc., P. O. Box 725, Pittsfield, MA 01201

Project Duration: August 2003 to March 2004

Mini-Grant Award:  $750


Grant 4       "Holly Hill Farm/ Quincy High School"

Quincy High School students will be learning and working at Holly Hill Farm as a part of the Environmental Science curriculum at Quincy High School under the direction of farm manger Kate Sullivan. The program will provide "city kids" an opportunity to learn about science and agriculture through hands on learning at the farm. The participants will be students who have average or below average success in science and show an aptitude for hands-on project based learning.

Students will work and attend classes at the farm ten times during the school year. This will be made possible without disruption of the students’ other classes since the class meets for a double block at the end of the school day once each four day cycle.

Contact: Peter Swanson Quincy High School, 52 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA 02169   

Project Duration: September 2003 through May 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $750


3rd Cycle    (November 2003)


Grant 1      "Glover Outdoor Classroom Farm School"

The Milton Public Schools, Glover teachers, parents and community members have formed partnership to create an outdoor classroom in Glover Elementary School’s new courtyard following renovation of the school. The outdoor classroom will be a creative hands-on teaching area for science, writing, math, art and other subjects. The Glover project will be the model for other schools townwide.

A key part of the new outdoor classroom is a Farm Garden, which will be used to teach children how food crops are grown. The Farm Garden will consist of 5 raised beds and will be used each year to focus on a different crop. For instance, in 2004, the project will grow and study pumpkins. We are seeking $1,500 from the Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom (MAC) program to construct the raised beds, buy tools and buy books that will enrich the project. Matching funds ($500) will be donated by the Milton Garden Club.

Contact: Brenda Brathwaite, Principal   Glover Elementary School, 255 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA 02186

Project Duration: Spring through Fall 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000


Grant 2      "Harvest Time on the Farm"

During the Fall term at Indian Brook Elementary School first and second grade classes (Approximately 270 students) learned about the growth cycle and harvesting of different vegetables. Through reading, discussions and classroom activities the students studied different vegetable plants, their life cycles and different habitats in which these life cycles can occur. Additionally, the students identified animals that are found on farms and how these animals contribute to the products a farmer provides. Towards the end of this "Growing and Changing" unit of study, the students visited Coonamesset Farm in East Falmouth. Guided tours led the students through fields of soil grown vegetables to hydroponic greenhouses. Guided tours led the students through fields of soil grown vegetables to hydroponic greenhouses. The students harvested their own vegetables to bring back to their classrooms for further hands-on activities. The students met the farm’s animal residents of alpacas, goats, sheep and chickens. The tour ended with students picking their own pumpkin.

Contact:Tami Edson Indian Brook Elementary School, 1181 State Road, Plymouth, MA 02360  

Project Duration: September 29th, 2003 to October 27th, 2003

Mini-Grant Award: $300


Grant 3      "Building Utopia"

The following mini-grant application is to assist in funding a unique project that we are running in our 8thgrade this year. The project is entitled "Building Utopia" and is an integrated project encompassing Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies. The project involves small groups of students designing their own "utopian" society, including government form, laws and economic policy. As part of the science component to this project, students will be designing and building small scale aquaponics growing structures.

The 8th grade science curriculum includes plant physiology, the hydrologic cycle, plant and animal reproduction, as well as a design and engineering component. This project will provide an essential hands-on format to help develop a deeper understanding of these.

Contact: Randy Sigler 8th Grade Science Teacher, Marblehead Community Charter School, 17 Lime Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

Project Duration:  late September through December 2003

Mini-Grant Award:  $400


Grant 4       "Exploring Farming in America"

For the project, Exploring Farming in America, students in the first grade will participate in two major curriculum units related to agriculture in the winter and spring of 2004. They will begin with a unit an Americana unit in January which will include studying American landmarks and geography, exploring the quilting tradition, and learning about the Maple Sugaring process. In April, students will use the study of Americana as a spring board into looking at how farms in New England work. Both arts of the project will be complete by June 2004.

Contact: Kelly King The Demonstration School, 255 Princeton Street, North Chelmsford, MA 01863

Project Duration:  January through June 2004

Mini-Grant Award:  $1,000


Grant 5      "Cranberries on Mars"

The project is Cranberries on Mars. The object is to grow a cranberry plant in a space station environment on Mars. Thirty people will live in this space station for six months. The goal 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. One group of eight 7th grade students have elected to be in this Science Enrichment Program. The group will construct a space station on a flat posterboard. Presentations will be given to the community.

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

Project Duration:  November 2003 through July 2004

Mini-Grant Award:  $150


 Grant 6       "Holly Hill Farm/ Quincy High School"

Quincy High School students will be learning and working at Holly Hill Farm as a part of the Environmental Science curriculum at Quincy High School under the direction of farm manger Kate Sullivan. The program will provide "city kids" an opportunity to learn about science and agriculture through hands on learning at the farm. The participants will be students who have average or below average success in science and show an aptitude for hands-on project based learning.

Students will work and attend classes at the farm ten times during the school year. This will be made possible without disruption of the students’ other classes since the class meets for a double block at the end of the school day once each four day cycle.

Contact: Peter Swanson Quincy High School, 52 Coddington Street, Quincy, MA 02169 

Project Duration:   September 2003 through May 2004

Mini-Grant Award:   $300


 Grant 7      "Got Books"

"Got Books" is a library sponsored research project highlighting dairy farming, cows and milk. The fourth grade students (204) will conduct a month-long interactive project using their combined library skills. Our library will be transformed into cattle central, with books, art work, and many black spots. The added opportunity of visiting Whittier Dairy Farm in West Sutton, will bring their ‘book’ learning into a real life experience.

Contact: Mrs. Patricia Karam David Mindess School, 90 Concord Street, Ashland, MA 01721  

Project Duration:   January through June 2004

Mini-Grant Award:  $878.30


 Grant 8      "Re-Vision Urban Farm"

Re-Vision Urban Farm, in collaboration with Lena Park Community Development Center, located at 150 American Legion Highway, Dorchester, MA 02124 is developing a preschool gardening project to start December 12, 2003 and lasting approximately one year. The primary goal of this initiative is to teach children attending Lena Park’s preschool program the importance of environmental preservation. In addition, the class will learn natural science, sustainable land stewardship, basic scientific concepts of plant growth and nutrition. This initiative will also reinforce age-appropriate concepts such as counting, colors and creative problem solving through the multi-disciplinary aspects of growing. Inculcating environmental preservation and land stewardship in young children will lead to support for recycling efforts, as well as a reversal of current pollution trends in Dorchester.

Contact: Laurel Sims, Grower Re-Vision Urban Farm, 38 Fabyan Street, Dorchester, MA 02124

Project Duration:  December 12, 2003 through December 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000

MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2003

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