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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

MAC Mini-Grant Winners 1997

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