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First Cycle   (April 2004)


Grant 1: 4-H Embryology Project

The Plymouth County 4-H Program is requesting a $1,000 to expand its popular embryology school enrichment project. These funds would allow an additional ten schools to participate in the project by providing them with the training, curriculum and equipment needed. The project is extremely popular with both students and teachers, reaching approximately 2000 students, grades K-5 in 2003. This project not only provides students with the opportunity to work with living, growing chick embryos but also teaches invaluable lessons in regards to the importance of science and agriculture/ food production. Over the course of twenty one days, students hatch live chicks in their classroom while they study the development of life from a single cell to a fully formed chick.

Contact: Michael Koski, Plymouth County Extension P. O. Box 658 High Street, Hanson, MA -2341

Project Duration: Project runs: April 2004 through April 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $750


Grant 2    Farming Past and Present

Fourth grade students at the Atkinson School will study the process of growing and harvesting crops in the early 1700-1800s and compare that to growing and harvesting crops in 2004. By visiting local Parson Barnard House (circa 1715-1830), under the guidance of the North Andover Historical Society, students will see oxen-drawn plows, horse-drawn rakes, foot powered seed potato cutters, hand cranked corn huskers, ice cutters, scythes and other tools used on local farms in centuries gone by. Students will then visit Smolak Farm of North Andover. Here students will go on a hayride tour of the farm, highlighting how a farm in planted and cultivated today. In particular, students will see how apple tress are planted, grafted, transplanted, sprayed, cross-pollinated and shaped. They will also see the acres of pumpkin and strawberry plants and the beehives that are cultivated on the farm. Back at school students will create displays to share with the rest of the school and community. These displays will highlight the advancements that have been made in local farming. Students will also use various kinds of seeds and grasses to create artistic expressions of the agricultural experiences they have enjoyed, and pair these with poetry to express their new learning. Matching funds will come from the Atkinson School PTO.

Contact: Susan Baylies, Atkinson School 111 Phillips Brook Road North Andover, MA 01845

Project Duration: Spring 2004 (May and June)

Mini-Grant Award: $340


Grant 3     Got Cheese / Got Cheese

I raise goats at Lively Spring Farm. I want to do workshops at schools to “promote the goat” and to make children aware of where their food comes from, and am requesting a $1410 mini-grant from Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom, to do so. We drink our own milk, make cheese, butter and ice cream, and goat milk soap. I have volunteered at Rowe Elementary School, making Mozzarella Cheese, butter and ice cream with the children. I have brought in kids and does, to give children an opportunity to get close to them and to try milking. Some children have never had a chance to see or milk a goat. Goats are easy to transport to the schools, allowing a “hands on” experience. I would like to leave the children with a souvenir of the activity.

Contact: Carol Lively, Lively Spring Farm 11 Petrie Road Rowe, MA 01367

Project Duration: Spring 2004 through Spring 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $700 


Grant 4.    Inch by Inch and Hoe by Hoe

We are applying for a Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom grant to supplement the costs of garden start-up this year as well as the initial cost for start-up in April 2005. Gardening has been a part of the Common School curriculum for a number of years. We have intensively cultivated a tiny rectangular bed at the entrance to the school. Because of the success with our tiny garden, we have decided to greatly expand the area under cultivation. Our plan is to use raised beds, rows and intensive gardening methods to create the most yield in a child-friendly space. Since the garden will be located in a space, central to children’s play and work, it will become an important focus for our school. space station on a flat posterboard. Presentations will be given to the community.

Contact: Susan Fleischman, Curriculum Coordinator, The Common School 521 South Pleasant Street Box 2248 Amherst, MA 01004

Project Duration: April 2004 through Spring 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $500


Grant 5      Operation Apple Grow

Operation Apple Grow ultimately show pre-grammar school how to grow apple trees. This project exposes children at a very young age to the basic concepts of agriculture. By direct contact with an active orchard, and hands-on activity with growing trees, the children will experience planting and caring for fruit trees. This will promote better understanding of the effort involved and will help develop an appreciation for the source of agricultural products that they enjoy everyday. Students will tour a local orchard (Marshall farm) and care for apple trees that will be planted on the Child Development center’s property by a local landscaper.

Contact:    Marie Martin, Burbank Child Development Center 275 Nichols Road Fitchburg, MA 01420

Project Duration: Project runs four months once funding is received.

Mini-Grant Award: $360 


Grant 6     The Teen Apprentice Program at Maggies Farm

The first ever junior apprentice program for teenagers at the farm School will be filled with alumni of our ever-popular summer camps. At their request, we have created a program that will allow them to work side by side with adult apprentices on our 180-acre diversified farm. We seek funding for a van which will allow these eager junior apprentices to achieve their other goal: visiting a range of farms in Massachusetts, both for inspiration and in order to gain a more full understanding of farm life in 21st century New England.

Contact: Meg Coward, Associate Director, The Farm School 488 Moore Hill Road Athol, MA 01331

Project Duration:   June 21st to July 2, 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $750


2nd Cycle    (September 2004)


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 13 to October 12, 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $461  


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

This grant will support two field trips, one in the early fall and one in the spring, from the early October 2004 to April 2005, on Arbor Day. 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 Systematics Garden. The second part will visit Mike’s Corn Maze in Sunderland, MA, which employs a creative, educational alternative to the corn farm. This year the design is based on the American presidential election process. John Kerry and George W. Bush’s profiles are crafted into the corn maze. The April field trip will also tour the Cowls Companies’ Timberland Management and Lumber Manufacturing Center in North Amherst. Smith Colleges’ Manager of Education and Outreach Madelaine Zadik, has graciously offered bus transportation for the fall 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 Ave., Springfield, MA 01108  

Project Duration: Fall 2004 through Spring 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $375


Grant 3.    Agricultural Enrichment at the Helen E. James School

Together with Fertile Ground, a grassroots initiative working to build community andcreate opportunities for cultural exchange about agriculture in schools, the Helen James School has been developing a model program using a teaching garden and visits to area farms and agricultural organizations for the past two years. Through this program, teachers and parents strive to teach the children about the agrarian history of the region, to show them how to grow vegetables, to introduce them to the pleasure of eating fresh foods, and to introduce them to farmers and communities working in agriculture. The field trips to farms and the teaching garden are the first steps to creating stronger ties between the school and the local farming community, to creating appreciation for the heritage of the area, and a program that teaches children healthy eating.

Contact: Sherrie Marti, Kindergarten Teacher, Helen E. James School - P. O. Box 3 - Williamsburg, MA 01096

Project Duration: Fall 2004 through Spring 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $600


Grant 4       Good Dirt

The objective of the Good Dirt project is to build and operate a composting facility that will generate compost for use by students at Paxton Center School (PCS). Responsible use of limited land and resources and understanding of the scientific principles behind composting and the nutrient cycle will be demonstrated through the agricultural use of the composted material. The project will involve students throughout PCS (a K-8 school) as the project progresses from design and construction to practical use of the composted material. The requested funds will be supplemented by funds from the Paxton Center School PTO and labor donated from the community. The project will begin in the fall of 2004 and will be operational in the spring of 2005. Future use of the facility includes community service involving students and local human resources program.

Contact: Gaylene Buck, Science Teacher, Paxton Center School - 19 West Street Paxton, MA 01612

Project Duration: September 2004 and extending into the future

Mini-Grant Award: $600


Grant 5       Apples: Field Trip for Kindergarten and Grade 1

In September the students in kindergarten and first grade study the growth and development of apple trees and the many uses of apples. Students participate in hands-on activities that include analyzing, graphing, sorting and observing various species of apples. Students learn to care for apples trees through learning the parts and changes an apple tree goes through in each season of the year and how apples are harvested. Activities in this unit are in conjunction with math, science, language arts and social studies. A trip to Smolak Farms in North Andover, MA will be a culminating activity for the unit. Students will see first hand how to harvest, care for, sort apples and produce cider and other apple products. The trip to Smolak Farms will enhance students experience with the farming community and the workings of a farm they would not get outside of city schools.

Contact: Elizabeth Morris Robert Frost School 33 Hamlet Street Lawrence, MA 01843

Project Duration: September 13 to October 13, 2004

Mini-Grant Award: $165


Grant 6       The Science and The People Behind Our Daily Bread

Eating: one of the most important activities we do every day, yet most people do not know where our food comes from or about the people behind its production. This interdisciplinary expedition uses science and humanities to investigate what is in our food, where our food comes from, how technology is changing our food, methods of farming, and who are the farmers?
The chemistry of food takes the abstract concepts of atoms, elements, and molecules and brings them into a specific context. Here students examine the common elements and compounds found in most of what we eat. They learn about soil chemistry, fertilizers, and photosynthesis. After tracing the journey of some of their favorite foods from the soil to the market, students debate the pros and cons of genetically modified food and its impact on the environment and the farmer.
To gain an appreciation for the changes and challenges faced by today’s farmers, students will interview area farmers. The interviews will be published in a book similar to the one we published last year (Community Cultivators), a copy of which is included with this application.

Contact: Leif Riddington and Deirdre Scott, 8th Grade Language Art and Science Teachers - Four Rivers Charter School - Colrain Road - Greenfield, MA 01301

Project Duration:  February through May 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $785


3rd Cycle    (November 2004)


Grant 1      "Growth All Around Us

For the project, Growth All Around US, students in the first grade will participate in two major curriculum units throughout the 2004-2005 school year that relates to plants, animals, farms and agriculture. First graders will begin the school year with a study of trees, forests and fall changes. This will include a guided tour of a local wildlife sanctuary and forest. In February students will begin to examine the life of trees when the maple syrup is produced on a larger scale. In April, as students begin a more focused look at animal life cycles, students will incubate chicken eggs, care for the young chicks, and visit a local animal farm.

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

Project Duration: School Year 2004-2005

Mini-Grant Award:  $500


Grant 2      Lifecycles Embryology

The Embryology in the Classroom is a 4-H program presented in conjunction with Plymouth County Cooperative Extension. Students are involved in the incubation and hatching of fertilized eggs in the classrooms. By participating in this project, students are involved in the lifecycle process of chickens, gain insight to the needs of growing animals and the role of farmers in meeting the needs of the community. The hatched chicks will remain in our care until April 15, 200r and then they are delivered to a local farmer who will continue to raise them.Contact:     Karen Malone, 4th Grade Teacher, Indian Head School 720 Indian Head Street - Hanson, MA 02341 - 781-618-7065 Project Duration:   March 1, 2005 to April 30, 2005Mini-Grant Award:    $241.33Grant 3      Cranberries on MarsCranberries on Mars is one of four Environmental Enrichment projects offered to 7th and 8th grade students at St. Margaret Regional School in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The group of up to 12 students is selected based on their interests in agriculture and space science and their academic effort and character commitment. Each group is responsible in designing and constructing a model space station with a hydroponic center. Our project has addressed goals of Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom by promoting the understanding of agriculture as a supplier of resources essential to survival. This is done by discussion to identify what is needed to survive on Earth and in a space station on Mars. The primary goal of the project is to build a space station with a hydroponic center that accommodates 15 people and to provide the cranberry plant as a resource of survival.

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

Project Duration: November 2004 through July 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $250


Grant 4       Spring Far Days for A Special Worcester Classroom

The Worcester 4-H Center is located in 250 acres in Spencer, MA. It is used extensively in the summer months as a day and resident camp for young people ages 6 to 17. It is the site of the State 4-H Horse Camp. On the grounds there is a large dining hall, horse stalls, an animal barnyard and lots of open space. This area consists in part of rental property in collaboration with the State DEM and property owned and operated by the non-profit Worcester County 4-H Center Board of Directors.
We hope to expand the use of this facility to additional use in the Spring months by extending our programs to schools and after-school groups. This year we are interested in piloting a program with the Forest Grove Middle School in Worcester.
The objective of this program is to bring a special group of urban children from Worcester to learn about agriculture in Massachusetts in a variety of multi-sensory ways. We have the support of the school principal and teachers, local farmers and 4-H volunteers to assist with the implementation of this project.

Contact: Penny Marston, Worcester County 4-H Center, Inc. - 92 McCormick Road Spencer, MA 01562

Project Duration: April 2005 through May 2005

Mini-Grant Award: $1,050


Grant 5       "Lettuce Take Thyme Cranberries on Mars"

Lettuce Take Thyme would be developed as a Dartmouth Middle School After School program. It would be a unique opportunity to engage middle school students in discussion on a variety of agricultural related topics in a relaxed and thought-provoking forum. The middle school, (formerly the Dartmouth High School) has a wonderful feature in that a small greenhouse was constructed and incorporated into one of its courtyard gardens. The High School has at one time a very vibrant and popular horticulture club. Due to budget constraints and the transition of the complex, the greenhouse has been idle for 7+ years and has fallen into disrepair. It is the greenhouse that would provide the hands-on component for Lettuce Take Thyme, which is critical for the success of the program. The greenhouse would afford the project the ability to grow a saleable product which would then provide the seed money (literally $ for seeds) for the Fall 05 program. Steve Petty, DMS Principal would administer the project funds.

Contact: Susan Guiducci, Manager, Appongansett Bay Vineyard - 205 Bakerville Road - South Dartmouth, MA 02748
Steve Petty, Principal, Dartmouth Middle School

Project Duration: January through June 2005

Mini-Grant Award:  $1,500

MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2004

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