Educators & Agriculture
MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2013
First Cycle (April 2013)
Mini-Grant 1: "Stoughton Extended Day Children's Garden"
Abstract: At the beginning of last summer, our program director built three frames near the entrance to our building for enclosed garden beds. We raked and pruned the nearby area and then planted seeds and plants donated by a parent who works at a local nursery. Throughout the season, we harvested tomatoes and cucumbers, which the children ate; and some were given to their families. This activity was accomplished and enjoyed primarily by our preschool children and teachers. It was approved and encouraged by our director, the school principal and the Stoughton Superintendent of Schools. We would like to enlarge the project for this coming summer and include a larger group of children.
Contact: Linda Clark, Director -- The Preschool at Stoughton Extended Day -- P. O. Box 257 --Stoughton, MA 02072
Project Duration: Spring to Fall 2013
Mini-Grant Award: $500
Mini Grant 2: "Walpole School Garden Program at the Elm Street Elementary School"
Abstract: The vision of the Walpole School Garden Program is for families, schools, and the Walpole community to work collaboratively towards the vision of fit and healthy children. Elm Street Elementary School students will have a hands-on curriculum based learning experience taught by teachers in the school garden; will grow vegetables, herbs, and some fruits; and will eat fresh, healthy foods. The garden steering committee has met regularly, and collaboration continues with: administrators, educators, parents, Nutrition and Food Services director, Walpole High School woodshop class and Green Team, Wellness Committee, Let’s Move committee, Board of Health, Recreation Department, Council on Aging, and Norfolk Agricultural High School. Construction of the 4 raised beds is already underway, indoor seedlings have been planted, and the outdoor garden will be ready for the first planting in April, 2013. Within 5 years we anticipate expanding the garden program to 4 of the 7 Walpole public schools.
Contact: Susan Prindall, RN, BSN, MM, NCSN -- Johnson Middle School -- 111 Robbins Road -- Walpole, MA 02081
Project Duration: April 2013 - April 2014
Mini-Grant Award: $450
Mini-Grant 3: "Claremont Academy Community Garden "
Abstract: Claremont is situated in a low-income area of Worcester, over 80% of our students participate in the free/reduced lunch program. Most students have not been to a farm & many do not know where their food comes from. All ninth graders will benefit from authentic learning in the greenhouse/garden, aligned with the state frameworks & common core standards. We are asking for $600 in start-up costs from MAC & help from REC. Plant/bake sales will fund future costs. Surplus produce will be donated locally.
Contact: Amber L.Pouliot -- Claremont Academy -- 15 Claremont Street -- Worcester, MA 01005
Project Duration: May, 2013-May 2014
Mini-Grant Award: $600
Mini-Grant 4: "Village School Organic Garden"
Abstract: The Village School Organic Garden is already a teaching tool. It is a vehicle for students to learn about the environment, health and wellness, and nutrition. The project needs ongoing funding if it is to continue
Contact: Brian Ota, Vice Principal -- Village School -- 93 Village Street -- Marblehead, MA
Mini-Grant Award: $200
Mini-Grant 5: "Horace Mann School for the Deaf Garden Project"
Abstract: Our Greater Boston metro school serves prepackaged lunches. Students do not make connections to what they eat, how it grows or healthy soil. These funds will buy 5 gardens, compost, seeds and plants. Students develop math, science and engineering skills with a science teacher and a certified horticulturist. The elementary students will use this outdoor classroom to connect content and agriculture to meet the Life Science learning standards of the Massachusetts STEM Framework.
Contact: John Wilcox -- Horace Mann School for the Deaf -- 40 Armington Street-- Boston, MA 02134
Project Duration: April, 2013-May , 2014
Mini-Grant Award: $500
Mini-Grant 6: "Sustainable Agricultural Garden and Composting Project"
Our project objective is to establish and maintain a school gardening and composting program that will allow students to learn experientially:
• How food waste from the cafeteria can be composted into soil that can then be used in our
garden to raise vegetables and herbs
• How to plant, care for, and harvest a vegetable garden
• How the foods grown can be donated to the school cafeteria, a local food pantry, and to garden
club dinner events.
The plan is to create a garden that is as sustainable as possible. The garden will be maintained by students, teachers and parent volunteers. It will serve as a model for sustainable practices as well as provide opportunities for hands on and outdoor science curricula aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the new Common Core standards. (see below)The garden is envisioned to be used school-wide. Teachers, in any discipline, can include the garden project as part of their curriculum where and when they can.
Contact: Virginia Cramer, Gr. 5 Math and Science teacher -- Roberta Barricelli, Gr. 5-8 School Librarian -- Col. Moses Parker Middle School -- 75 Graniteville Ave. -- Chelmsford, MA 01824
Mini-Grant 7: "Gardens on Wheels"
Abstract: The primary goal of our garden is to offer the children in our daycare the experience of growing and eating healthy food and understanding where food comes from. Our garden program provides a hands-on approach. We use many containers to garden with the toddlers and preschool children. We are seeking funds to purchase 3 garden carts from Lowes to move the plants into and out of the outdoor classroom. Audience:12 students aged 1-6. Grant money will fund: 3 garden carts.
Project runs: June 24-September 23, 2013
Contact: Julie A. Smith, King's Kids Daycare, 406 Forest Street, West Bridgewater, MA 02379
Mini-Grant Award: $360
Second Cycle (September 2013)
Mini-Grant 1: "School Garden for Concord Integrated Preschool"
Abstract: A small school garden was started at the Concord Integrated Preschool in the spring of 2013 in an existing raised bed. It is proposed to expand the school garden in order to accommodate more children. The children will learn about growing vegetables from seeds and transplanted seedlings. They will be involved in caring for the plants, harvesting, and tasting the crop. A total of $500. is requested to purchase two raised beds, topsoil, compost, tools, and a small storage container.
Project Duration: October 2013 - July 2014
Contact: Nancy McGregor, Special Education teacher, Anne Kilroy, Environmental Scientist, Master Gardener Concord Public Schools Integrated Preschool, 120 Meriam Rd., Concord MA 01742
Mini-Grant Award: $250
Mini-Grant 2: "Backyard Chickens"
Abstract: From greenhouse to garden to kitchen, teachers work with students to gain hands on experience learning principles of sound nutrition while providing some of the food for our cafeteria, farm stand experiences, and food for students to take home. We are hatching eggs in our classroom but must take the chicks to a nearby farm. The next logical step, supported by our administration, our school wide “green” attitude as well as by the local food movement, is the addition of “backyard chickens”. Having both a year round school program and residential programs enables us to expand to include animal agriculture, specifically “backyard chickens”. Through this project, students will increase their understanding of nutritional benefits of eggs, learn principles of Animal Science, increase awareness of animal industry issues, develop and give presentations for students at other schools and local organizations, and discover educational options and careers in animal agriculture.
Project Duration: 2013 - 2014 school year
Contact: Danielle Crescione, Instructional aide, Tri-County Schools/Northeast Center for Youth and Families, Inc.
Mini-Grant Award: $700
Mini-Grant 3: "From Seed to Pumpkin"
Abstract: We are requesting funding to go to Austin Farms in Belchertown. We’ll take a guided tour of the farm on a hay ride. At the pumpkin patch we’ll receive an informative lesson on growing pumpkins and get to pick pumpkins. Next, on to a scavenger hunt in the corn maze. This trip will be a hands-on experience which will connect the students to a local farm and increase their knowledge of agriculture. It is a very exciting trip for kindergarteners and makes the farming profession very appealing. Audience: 180 kindergarten students
Grant money will fund: Bus transportation.
Project Duration: 2013 - 2014 school year
Contact: Robin Murphy, Kindergarten teacher, Cold Spring School, 57 South Main Street, Belchertown, MA 01007
Mini-Grant Award: $360
Third Cycle (November 2013)
Mini-Grant 1: "Growing Green Through the Grades"
Abstract: "GGTG" is a sustainable greenhouse project for students in grades PreK-12 designed to be an active classroom for teaching and learning about the importance of agriculture and environmental stewardship in the 21st century. It is being launched by the Green Committee, representing staff students, and community members within the three-district Berlin-Boylston School System who are committed to this project. A grant will be submitted separately for each school district. Audience: Middle school students. Grant money will fund: Greenhouse kit, materials for building/planting raised beds
Project Duration: November 2014 into the future, Greenhouse will be finished in May 2014.
Contact: Maryellen Fryburg, Food Service Director, Contact person: Carol L. Costello, Curriculum Director Tahanto Regional Middle School, 1001 Main Street, Boylston, MA 01505
Mini-Grant Award: $500
Mini-Grant 2: "Gateway to Gardening"
Abstract: Developmentally and learning disabled students will manage the “Gateway to Gardening” project, which connects mathematics, ELA and science standards to a sustained hands-on, inquiry- based learning project. Students will grow organic heirloom vegetables including corn, beans, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and melons. Students will use many skills including researching, planning, writing, measuring, predicting, costing, weighing, cooking, and gardening. Other classes will also participate: welding classes will plan and create row covers while STEM classes will plan, create and implement an irrigation system. Students will use job skills to develop sustainability strategies, such as selling summer salads, seed saving, CSA shares, or hosting a Farmer’s Market. Teacher Michele Klemaszewski’s prior work experience includes training students with disabilities to run a restaurant. The project has community support from the Jacobs Ladder Business Association and Moss Hill Farm. Staff will also request donated gardening tools and seek funds from the Gateway Education Foundation.
Project Duration: January 1, 2014 - November 30, 2014, and beyond.
Contact: Michele Klemaszewski, LD teacher and Emily MacDonald, Life Skills teacher and Jason Finnie, Principal Gateway Regional High School, 12 Littleville Road, Huntington, MA
Mini-Grant Award: $1,035
Mini-Grant 3: "What Came First? The Gallus Gallus domesticum or the Ovum?"
Abstract: As students of Touchstone, we would like to have the chickens on our school campus serve several purposes. The overall reason for having chickens is, of course, to learn and teach about farming. Starting to learn about this subject at a young age will teach valuable lessons about living naturally and sustainably. Also, we will learn life lessons about respect for other living things while also teaching responsibility, for our actions, and ourselves.
In writing this grant we have already begun learning and experimenting with this project, giving ourselves a jump forward in this step of our education. The eggs we gather from our laying chickens will be sold as a way of giving back to the families in our community; the funds from that will pay for the upkeep of the chickens, and the profits will go back into our garden, reinforcing that part of our vibrant curriculum.
Audience: The Touchstone School’s community. Grant money will fund: Materials needed to build a chicken coop, purchase chicks, starter and layer feed, bedding, fencing, heat lamp and any other necessities.
Project Duration: October 2013 into the future.
Contact: David Cantler, Touchstone Community School, 54 Leland Street, Grafton, MA 01519
Mini-Grant Award: $650
Mini-Grant 4: "Smith Leadership Organic Gardening Project"
Abstract: This project is an introduction for students to organic gardening, the science of agriculture, and the entrepreneurship involved in a farmer’s market. The school has three plots in a local community garden and students planted and grew fruits and vegetables for the first time last summer (2013). In 2014, students will learn the types of plants that are good for gardening, where and when to plant different plants, according to sunlight and the type of soil. The project will introduce them to compost and soil testing. Students will learn about photosynthesis, how plants grow, and what seeds are. Students will learn about insects and the importance of insects in gardening. There will be connections made to science, math, and English classes. The garden project will culminate in learning canning so that students can make tomato sauce and sell it along with fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market for parents. Audience: Low-income urban middle school students and their families. Grant money will fund: Bus and MBTA transportation, seeds, compost, canning jars and labels.
Project Duration: March 2014 - October 2014
Contact: Elisif Brandon, Grants/Data Specialist, Smith Leadership Academy Charter Public School, 23 Leonard St. Dorchester, MA 02122
Mini-Grant Award: $1,020