Educators & Agriculture
First Cycle (April 1997)
Project 1: Youth Farm Program Holyoke
Coordinator: Nicolette Robb,
Address: School to Farm Program, Hampshire College, Farm Center, Amherst, MA 01002
Duration: Project runs: Two one week sessions July 7 July 18, 1997 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Holyoke Youth Farm Program will provide two, oneweek sessions that will take place between July 7th July 18th, 1997 between the hours of 9 a.m. 3 p.m. The Holyoke Youth Alliance will identify twelve students to participate in each session, thereby allowing for a total of twenty four students to join in the program. The expected results of this program are to provide a rich, farmbased educational experience to schoolage students coming from lowincome, urban communities. This experience will impart in the students an awareness of and appreciation for nature, agriculture and its relationship to a healthy and sustainable environment, and the way in which individuals actions and decisions affect the community and the earth. Parents and guardians of students participating in the program will be invited to an informational session to learn handson what their children have enjoyed about the program. Success will be measured by followup contacts with the parents of the students and the Holyoke Youth Alliance to determine the level of enthusiasm and enjoyment experienced by the participants, and whether they brought home the information to share.
Mini Grant Award: $1,000
Project 2: The Soil Tunnel: A World Underfoot
Coordinator: Meredith Slater
Address: Plymouth County Conservation District Meredith Slater 15 Cranberry Highway West Wareham, MA 02576
Duration: April, May and June, 1997
The Soil Tunnel is a successful, mobile educational display geared for students in grades 2 through 5. This popular interactive teaching aide, accompanied with handson exercises, was designed and constructed by the USDA and PCCD to demonstrate the importance of soil resources. This unique approach to learning allows students to crawl through the tunnel and experience soil first hand, bugs and all. Each week, a trained college intern will transport and present the tunnel to a different classroom in Massachusetts.
Mini Grant Award: $150
Project 3: A Visit to a Massachusetts Apple Orchard.
Coordinator: Virginia Lynch, Asst. Principal and Jeanne MacEachern, 2nd Grade Teacher
Address: B.B. Russell School, 45 Oakdale Street, Brockton, MA 02401
Duration: September and October, 1997
Students will visit a local apple orchard. Curriculum is designed to incorporate apple activities into every area of curriculum for several weeks. Prelessons and postlessons are interdisciplinary and promote cooperative learning. The students will learn how apple trees are grown, how apple orchards impact the local environment, and how environmental conditions impact crop production. Apple growing, as a complex industry, will be built into curriculum. Students will become aware of crop varieties, use of terminology in agriculture, environmental impact of pesticides, environmental impacts of weather and diseases. lessons will present the economic and health importance of apples in our daily lives. Children will learn the nutritional values of many apple products and use in recipes. The program will involve handson learning. We will write a resource handbook that will benefit other teachers. A video tape of our visit to the orchard and instructional activities will be shared with other classrooms. 25 students 2nd grade
Mini Grant Award: $350
Project 4: Classroom Connection Program Gaining Ground
Coordinator: Jamie Bemis, Director,
Address: Gaining ground, Inc. 21 Liberty Street, P.O. Box 374 Concord, MA 01742
Duration: Spring through Fall 1997
Gaining Ground, Inc., a Concord, Massachusetts., nonprofit, is collaborating with Nashoba Brooks School and Concord/Carlisle High School to create a model program to involve students in more substantial ways in Gaining Ground's food bank gardens. We plan to give students fullseason experiences in the gardens, with their classes and as community service volunteers, with learning opportunities that range from applied science to the rich literary history of Concord gardens.
Mini Grant Award: $750
Project 5: A Visit to the Massachusetts Apple Orchard
Coordinator: Pamela L. Mansbach
Address: Edgar B. Davis School 380 Plain Street Brockton, MA 02402
Duration: September of 1997 to October of 1997
Third grade students from the Davis Elementary School in Brockton will visit a local apple orchard. Apple activities will be incorporated into the curriculum for several weeks. These activities will be interdisciplinary in nature and geared to cooperative learning in the classroom. Through various activities students will learn how apple trees are grown, how the orchards impact on our environment, and how environmental conditions impact crop production. The importance of the apple producing industry to Massachusetts will be emphasized in these activities. Also highlighted will be the many kinds of apples, the changing technology of agriculture, use of fertilizers, and pesticides, and the nutritional and health benefits of apples, apple product, and apple recipes. This program will involve handson learning. An apple resource handbook will be written that can be of use to other teachers. A video and/or photographs will be made of our trip to the apple orchard. All activities will be shared with other classrooms.
Mini Grant Award: $350
Project 6: Wintergarden: A Self Sustaining Agricultural Project To Explore How Things Grow
Coordinator: Ronald Mayer, Executive Director The Children's Museum in Dartmouth
Address: 276 Gulf Road South Dartmouth, MA 02748
Duration: Summer and fall of 1997
The Children's Museum in Dartmouth proposes to build a self sustaining greenhouse to expose children to agricultural growing programs during all four seasons of the year. This project will teach children how to build a self sustaining greenhouse, and the technology necessary to promote the growth of edible crops. With this grant, thousands of area children in grade K through 7 will learn where food comes from and what goes into food production.
Mini Grant Award: $917
Project 7: Fresh From the Farm
Coordinator: Karen Hayes, Outreach Coordinator,
Address: Natural Resources Trust of Easton P.O. Box 188, North Easton, MA 02356
Duration: October, 1997 to June 1998
Fresh From the Farm creates a partnership between the Natural Resources Trust of Easton, a second grade Brockton classroom, and the student's families, to teach where apples, honey, dairy products, eggs, maple syrup, wheat, corn and hay come from. In each class (three at the farm and four at the school) the children will cook, eat, and take home locally grown food. Families will receive: food, recipes, and food purchasing information after each class; monthly postcards from the farm; invitations to a Farm Breakfast and Family Dinner shopped for and prepared by the students.
Mini Grant Award: $750
Project 8: Growing Together
Coordinator: Cathy Keefe, Preschool Teacher,
Address: Holland Elementary School, Sturbridge Road Holland, MA 01521
Duration: 12 Weeks January through March, 1997
The teachers and parents of Holland Elementary Preschool are planning an outdoor garden to include flowers and vegetables. We would like to involve the thirty nine children in our program in the process of growing plants from seed, and give them a basic understanding of where food comes from through this experience. This will enhance our curriculum and, hopefully, be the start of a schoolwide outdoor classroom. Our request includes materials to have a successful gardening experience and, to enhance this experience, a field trip to a working farm. It is our hope that the children will gain an appreciation for agriculture and enthusiasm for gardening. Holland Elementary School has been supportive of our plans and has committed $500 to help the preschool get this project started. The America the Beautiful Foundation sent us 100 packets of seed.
Mini Grant Award: $500
Project 9: Global Awareness through Agriculture
Coordinator: Tasha Allen and Betsy Connolly,
Address: William L. Foster School, 55 Downer Avenue Hingham, MA 02043
Duration: Spring of 1997 concentrating on last two weeks of school
It is our intention to broaden our students' understanding of their own environment while simultaneously encouraging them to think in more global terms. It all began six years ago with our Recycling Project and has expanded to include a minimum of a week long investigation of an important environmental topic. This year's goal is for the children to gain a broader understanding of, and greater appreciation for, agriculture, its role in their lives and its crucial role in the Web of life. An agriculture topic has been chosen for each grade level which complements the Science curriculum and would be of interest to that particular age group. A portion of the lobby will be transformed into a Massachusetts farm while another are will display a state map indicating where MA produce originates. The two weeks will come to a close with the only all school assembly we have all year. Library will be the focal point for information and class materials for staff members.
Mini Grant Award: $767
Project 10: Waterworks
Coordinator: Melanie Shepard
Address: Proctor School Topsfield, MA
Duration: Begins in September 1997 and resources will be used in future years
Oceans and rivers life are taught at every grade level in science. This grant will provide materials to study aqualife at proctor School. There will also be year long activities dealing with the watersheds, oceans, computer technology training which uses Tom Snyder interactive software and the study of Atlantic salmon. We live so close to the ocean and water shed areas, yet students have only just begun to understand how vital water is to all of our lives. Future decisions made by our students will reflect the manner and information we are able to teach them today. Program will include: Mr. and Mrs. Fish Culture Enrichment Program of how a safe environment is essential for ocean life, a tide pool program, and speakers dealing with watersheds in the local area. Then students will take a field trip to an Atlantic salmon hatchery.
Mini Grant Award: $360
Project 11: Common Roots
Coordinator: Ellen Barbieri and John at the Clark Street Developmental learning School and Rachel Vincequere at the Goddard School of Science & Technology
Address: Clark St. School 280 Clark St. Worcester, MA 01606
Duration: September 1997 to September 1998
Two public schools in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark Street Developmental Learning School and Goddard School of Science and Technology, have developed a program in agricultural education entitled Common Roots. The mission of Common Roots is to bring the joy of nature to innercity children who do not have access to a natural environment. This will be accomplished through the development of "handson" learning, both in the planting and harvesting of agricultural products, and the institution of vermicomposting. Products will be donated to local agencies or sold to fund the program into the future. The nearly 1,100 students that will be involved will have the opportunity to directly experience natural processes, learn how to share their experience with others, and will have exposure to agriculturallybased vocations of which they might otherwise not have access.
Mini Grant Award: $1,000
2nd Cycle (September 1997 )
Project 1: Massachusetts Maple Sweet Springtime An educational video project
Coordinator: Tom McCrumm, Coordinator
Address: Massachusetts Maple Producers Association Watson Spruce Corner Road Ashfield, MA 01330
Duration: September 1997 - July 1998
Massachusetts Maple Sweet Springtime ( An educational video project). The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association gets many requests each year for some type of an educational video for classroom use. Presently we use an outdated and somewhat inaccurate "copy of a copy of a copy" of a 22 year old 16 mm film. The sound and visual quality is poor at best. Our goal is to produce a new and exciting maple educational tool about 20 minutes in length, to be used in classrooms. Our classroom guide and teacher's curriculum, All About Maple Sugaring, (developed in cooperation with Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom in 1993) needs a quality and accurate video to accompany it for school use. Our member producers have found that sugarhouse visits and products sales increase as a direct result of classroom education and school trips. Additionally, this video educates the viewers on the overall value of agriculture, food production, and open space within Massachusetts. Copies would be made available for free to public and school libraries, and will be available for free use (on a loaner basis) to anyone in Massachusetts. The requested funding from MAC, Inc. would represent about 8 percent of the total cost of our project.
Mini Grant Award: $1,500 Grant in progress
Project 2: Plimoth Plantation Gardens
Coordinator: Carol Burtt Borglund
Address: Hastings Elementary School 111 E. Main Street Westboro, MA 01581
Duration: 1997 and 1998 School Year.
First and second grade students from Hastings Elementary School planted in the spring what they will harvest in the fall as they follow the lives and histories of these people who settled in Massachusetts in the 17th century. Following the texts from grade level curriculum, and research directly from Plimoth Plantation, authentically replicated colonial raised beds and Native American mounds were built and planted. Through handson gardening activities, students began to learn the processes of food production for survival. Activities will continue this fall, into the 2nd and 3rd grades. They will learn all aspects of agriculture production through food preparation, consumption and storage. As students study the voyage of the Mayflower and the life of Wampanoag and Colonial children they well harvest their gardens and use their crops as enrichment to these thematic units and school curriculum.
Mini Grant Award: $1,100
3nd Cycle (November 1997 )
Project 1: Examining Agricultural Issues in West Bridgewater Through the Construction and Planting of a School Garden
Coordinator: Jeff Wolff, 4th Grader Teacher
Address: Howard School 70 Howard Street West Bridgewater, MA 02379
Duration: March 1998 to September 1998
There are two areas that the proposed project will address. First, agricultural issues will be examined through the classroom visits of Richard Anderson, a local dairy and corn farmer. He will discuss the history of agriculture in West Bridgewater as well as the loss of farmland in the area. Secondly, this project will have a wonderful handson activity. The Howard School, with the help of parents, community and high school student volunteers, will construct, plant and maintain a 12' x 24' school garden. each class will be assigned an area to plant. Indoor planting will precede the outdoor activities. Children at each grade level will use a multidisciplinary approach. Plant science curriculums will supplement what is already done within the classrooms. Arts will be utilized in the writing of the Fun Pages newspaper by one fourth grade class. Other classes will keep journals of their plant's growth. Social Studies will also be used in the historical look at agriculture and in the study of the Pilgrim's agricultural endeavors. A resource guide will be written describing our project and we will develop photo and videotape journals as well. Out Harvest Celebration will be shared with the Community in September. On June 7, 1998, Mr. Wolff's grade 4 class will publish their newspaper with a theme of Agriculture in Massachusetts for the Boston Sunday Globe Fun pages,
Mini Grant Award: $1,039.
Project 2: Linking Students With Agriculture
Coordinator: Ann HanchettBoland
Address: SR 65 Box 47D Great Barrington, MA 01230
Duration: November 1997 to February 1998
The purpose of this project is to complie a comprehensive list of agricultural resources in Berkshire County for the use of educators at all levels. Titled "Linking Students with Agriculture: A Resource Network", the project proposes a compilation for educators of all types of agricultural resources in Berkshire County. The list will facilitate and encourage the incoirporation of agricultural knowledge into curricula of all grade levels. The list will include farms, gardens, museums, businesses and cooperatives, educational facilities, organizations and already existing school programs which are resources for the teacher interested in any aspect of local agriculture. A second and shorter list would suggest places to study to increase the awareness of the effects of destruction of agricultural land in the area. The list will be a brochure or booklet. If suitable resources can be found, the list will also be put into a website
Mini Grant Award: $1,500 to Berkshire County Farm Bureau
Project 3: Learning History through the Land
Coordinator: Anita CarrollWeldon and Ann HatchettBoland
Address: The Bidwell House P.O. Box 537 Art School Road Monterey, MA 01245
Duration: Winter of 1998 through June 1, 1998
The Bidwell House is planning to implement an educational program in collaboration with the Southern Berkshire School District. This program, LEARNING HISTORY THROUGH THE LAND, utilizes the museum's resources, primary materials including site plans and historic photos, narratives and images to transform the museum's extensive grounds into a classroom to teach the rise and fall of farming in western Massachusetts in the 18th and early 19th century. The 200 acre Bidwell property is a classic example of this farming history. For a closer focus, the museum's Heirloom Vegetable Garden will become a `hand's on ' classroom connecting historic gardening techniques with contemporary composting, food production and seed saving. Using the resources of the museum which provides a context of the historic development patterns, students will act as historians and come to a better understanding of Berkshire farms today. A broader objective is to establish the Bidwell House in the community as an educational resource for local schools. Plans to develop a curriculum guide.
Mini Grant Award: $700
Project 4: Hames and Axel Farm " Cultivating Agriculture with Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary School"
Coordinator: Patricia Garland Stewart
Address: Hames and Axel Farm P.O. Box 492 Ashburnham, MA 01430
Duration: Spring of 1998
Hames and Axel Farm, in conjunction with Peter Fitzpatrick Elementary School, proposes an extended enrichment program as a part of the Fitzpatrick Center for Enrichment. Programs would be offered two days a week in the fall and winter, and one day a week in the spring, in a six week format. In this area of Massachusetts where open space is rapidly disappearing, and few commercial livestock farms remain, a program of agricultural literacy and education is vital. The Center's budget is not sufficient to cover the cost of the program, so we request a grant of $830 to supplement the expanded Hames and Axel Farm program. The three programs to be offered are: "Down on the Farm", a literacy program for grades K1, "Farm Frolics" for grades 23, and "Farm Hands" a continuation of the explorations for students who have participated in last year's Hames and Axel Farm offerings. The program will include a garden planted by the participants.
Mini Grant Award: $150
Project 5: Welcome Storybook Gardens" at Burgess Elementary School
Coordinator: A. Geoffrey Earls
Address: Burgess Elementary Sch. 45 Burgess School Rd. Sturbridge, MA 015661052
Duration: Fall of 1997 through June of 1998
Our project for this year will be the design and planting of two garden areas at the entrance to the school office. At present, the two areas are an eyesore of unkept shrubs, half dead birch trees and flourishing weeds. We have separate plans for each: in one a bulb garden of tulips, daffodils, etc. will be planted in a pattern of geometric symmetry. In late may this section will be planted in annuals such as dahlias and zinnias for a cutting garden. The second section will be a joint project with the second graders as we design a Literature garden. During this year, the 2nd and 5th grades will team up to select their particular favorites to be planted in the Spring of 1998.
Mini Grant Award: $484
Project 6: Utilization of Worm Castings in Gardening
Coordinator: Linda Engstler
Address: Lowell Alternative School Program 235 Powell Street Lowell, MA 01841
Duration: February 1998 through November of 1998
Our classroom has been composting with worms for two years now. We would like to develop an outdoor garden to enhance the surroundings of the school, and utilize our worm castings. We propose to build two wooden planters to be placed in our school yard. We are an inner city school with little vegetation in our surrounding environment. The title of the project is "Utilization of Worm castings in Gardening."
Mini Grant Award: $1,000