First Cycle   (April 2000)

Grant 1     Coolidge Gardens

The renovation and construction of our 600-student middle school has provided us with challenges and opportunities for improving the landscape in front of the school and in the three courtyards the school encloses. We look forward to using the talents and resources of the school and surrounding community to develop curriculum-related activities that involve students in the work of transforming our outdoor spaces. Groups of parents, teachers and other experts will plan the landscapes and will involve students in multiple components of the project. At least 200 students will help by creating drawings to scale, collecting soil samples, preparing soil, and planting, among other activities. Our aim is to increase understanding of the need to match growing conditions with specific plants, while creating drought-tolerant ornamental landscapes for people and wildlife to enjoy.

Contact: John Doherty, Principal and Ellen Mounter, Project Coordinator A. W. Coolidge School  89 Birch Meadow Drive  Reading, MA 01867

Project Duration: January through October 2000

Mini-Grant Award: $500

 

Grant 2      Life on a Real Farm

The town of Warwick has a varied agricultural background. Currently much of the town is on land preservation with the State of Massachusetts owning over 50% of the community in the form of protected forests and state parks. There are a number of active farms in the community and a number of farms that have been long abandoned. Children in Warwick, living in a rural area and a area that at one time had a number of farms, are still very much in ignorance of farming. The Farm School, located in Athol, MA , is near by and would provide our children with an unforgettable experience. It is our hope that children experiencing the farm school would come away with a real appreciation of farming. With the children actually living at the farm school for three days they will have the opportunity to fully appreciate what farming is about. Children will join in the work of the farm and the stewardship of the land -- season to season. Whether it is working in a field or caring for animals the farm school has the children totally involved.

Contact: Wallace McCloud, Principal, Warwick Community School 41 Winchester Road Warwick, MA 01378

Project Duration: Fall 2000 through to December

Mini-Grant Award:  $1,500

 

Grant 3     Growing Special Gardens With Children

Through a curriculum developed by the South Shore Natural Science Center and the Wellesley Middle School, children will be introduced to the value and enjoyment of growing food and ornamental plants. There is a greenhouse and an outside garden on the premises of the Wellesley Middle School that have been maintained by a parent who has generously given of her time and talent. She is willing, in cooperation with the South Shore Natural Science Center and the teachers of Special Education at the school, to work with students to help them acquire the proper techniques of caring for and nurturing the growth of a variety of plants. Along with a tropical plant wall to be constructed in the greenhouse, there is also a plan to develop a raised garden in the already existing outside garden. Susan Cronin, Director of Education for the South Shore Natural Science Center and Susan Weiner , Special Education Teacher at the Wellesley Middle School, will be responsible for the development of the curriculum. Dr. Dorothy MacFarlane of the South Shore Natural Science Center and Liz Dean, parent volunteer with a Masters in Zoology, will be responsible for the implementation.

Contact: Susan Cronin, Director of Education, South Shore Nature Center Jacobs Lane P.O. Box 429 Norwell, MA 02061

Project Duration: April 2000 through April 2001.

Mini-Grant Award: $500

 

Grant 4     The Chatham Courtyard Garden Project

The Chatham Courtyard Garden Project was conceived by garden club members and faculty as a living, leaning , outdoor laboratory to enhance the school curriculum in Science, Language, and Mathematics. The courtyard garden was divided into quadrants, and our request for funds is for one quadrant only. We decided that it was best to concentrate on one section at a time, and be realistic about how much time and expense we were able to benefit from in a one year period. The overall project is expected to take three years to complete. Our request at this time is for $1500.00 to allow us the opportunity to purchase plants, shrubs, and trees for the initial planting session.

Contact: Nancy Rollins 486 Riverview Drive Chatham, MA and Sheila Marx 80 Deer Meadow Lane Chatham, MA

Project Duration: Spring 2000 to spring 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $500.

 

Grant 5     Watch Me Grow

The Elm Street School is a pre-school and Kindergarten Center dedicated to the education of young children. The school serves 260 kindergarten and 107 preschool students in the town of Walpole. The School opened in the Fall of 1998, and many of the science and math resources formerly available at the elementary school have not been acquired for the Elm Street School. This project proposes a thematic unit called "Watch me Grow" for the Kindergarten Students at the school. Thematic units are a meaningful way to involve students in a sustained learning experience. they allow for an in-depth understanding of learning objectives, as well as, promoting creativity and critical thinking skills. The theme "Watch Me Grow" allows teachers to focus instruction on comparing and contrasting the growth of a child to the growth of a flowering plant, namely the sunflower. Involving young children in the nurturing of seedlings is the first step in becoming aware of the importance of agriculture in their world. A visit from the Plant Mobile would involve students in a hands on horticultural experience.

Contact:      Liz Kramer,    K-5 Science and Math Coordinator,     Walpole Public Schools, 135 School    Street Walpole, MA 02081

Project Duration: Four weeks in spring of 2000

Mini-Grant Award: $500

 

Grant  6     Pumpkins Squash n Kids

The Pumpkins Squash n Kids project for the Antioch School in Fall River is co-sponsored by the Bristol County Agricultural School, John George Farms and Headwaters Farm. The purpose of the project is to introduce students to the growth cycles through planting, cultivating, harvesting, distribution and marketing. The students will experience first hand the preparation of land, planting of seeds and harvesting. They will learn the cycle from farmer to consumer and will use computer technology to track the yield of the seeds, the success of the store and to evaluate profit/loss outcomes. In addition to the squash produced, students will create a cookbook with pumpkin and squash recipes. The students will sell their pumpkin, squash and cookbook at a stand.

Contact: Susan Silvia, Grade 2 teacher and Lucia Gagnon School Administrator  Antioch School Parents of Rockhill, Inc. 618 Rock Street Fall River, MA 02720

Project Duration: Project begins late May and continues into the fall

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000

 

2nd Cycle    (September 2000)

 

Grant 1     Fresh From the Farm

Fresh from the Farm creates a partnership between five second grade classrooms of the Joseph Plouffe School of Brockton, led by Anne Judge and the National Resources Trust of Easton at Sheep Pasture. Throughout the 2000-2001 school year, this project will teach students where dairy products, eggs, maple syrup, wheat, corn and hay come from. At the same time, NRT staff will stress health, nutrition and good agricultural practices. In each class (two at the farm and three as the school), students will participate in hands-on activities and games that teach vocabulary, food origins and agricultural awareness. They will cook, eat and take home locally grown food. The culmination of this project will entail a farm breakfast designed by the students, utilizing many of the products they have learned about.

Contact: Anne Judge,  Joseph F. Plouffe Elementary School,  250 Crescent Street, Brockton, MA 02302.

Project Duration: Fall 2000 and Spring 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $870

 

Grant 2      Growing Community in the Garden

City Sprouts is a newly incorporated organization of parents, teachers and school administrators whose goal is to establish a garden program for the Cambridge public Schools. We are requesting $1,500 for three projects for the Harrington garden, a signboard, a picnic table and six raised garden beds. Each of these three projects is an important part of our two-fold goal: to expand the Harrington garden beyond individual classroom use to a center that is used and enjoyed by the whole school community; and to develop a garden that is used and enjoyed by the whole school community; and to develop a garden curriculum for first and third grades that supports the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. Our mission is to create a garden program that functions as a center of activity for the entire school -- for science classes, social studies and history classes, as a source of food for the cafeteria, as a place for activities such as music practice and reading groups. We plan to build a garden program that is intrinsically part of the students' school experience.

Contact: Jane Smillie CitySprouts 36 Camp Street #2 Cambridge, MA 02140 The Harrington School 850 Cambridge Street Cambridge, MA 02141

Project Duration:  September 5, 2000 through June 15, 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $250

 

Grant 3     Garden in the Schoolyard

CitySprouts is a newly incorporated organization of parents, teachers and school administrators whose goal is to establish a garden program for the Cambridge Public Schools. We are requesting $1,500 to build 10 raised garden beds on the perimeter of the Haggerty School, an urban schoolyard. This project, Garden in the Schoolyard, has a two fold aim: to develop a social studies and science garden curriculum based on the Curriculum frameworks, and to work with the School Food Service to improve the quality of students' lunch experience. Garden in the Schoolyard at the Haggerty School will provide the actual ground from which we build a unique partnership with the Cambridge Food Service, and from which we work to develop a science and social studies garden curriculum that supports the lessons our teachers are mandated to teach. This project will be a model for a garden program that is intrinsically part of the students' everyday learning and everyday eating.

Contact: Jane Smillie CitySprouts 36 Camp Street   #2 Cambridge, MA 02140 The Haggerty School 110 Cushing Street Cambridge, MA 02139

Project Duration: September 5, 2000 through June 15, 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $250

 

Grant 4: Juniper Hill Elementary School Community Garden Project

The second grade year at Juniper Hill Elementary school focuses on nature and communities. Having a garden as an educational tool is the next logical step to strengthening the present curriculum that includes weather, farm communities, plants and their life cycles, seasonal change affects on growing, insects, as well as a trip to a local orchard. In addition, donating the vegetables to the local food pantry will expand Juniper Hill's commitment to fostering community service among it's students. This project will also help integrate the transitional bilingual English students with English speaking students by providing a common project on which they can work together. The hands-on process of seed to final product will enhance and support the whole spectrum of curriculum as it is integrated throughout language arts, math, science and social studies.

Contact: Doreen Leavey, 29 Upper Joclyn Avenue Framingham, MA 01701

Project Duration: September 2000 through June 2001.

Mini-Grant Award: $900

 

Grant 5      A Three Season Study of Massachusetts Agriculture

This academic year 2000-2001, the sixty six grade one students of the Franklin School will become immersed in the study of apples, pumpkins, cranberries, maple sugaring, planting and growing both a vegetable and a flower, as well as the farm environment. In addition to classroom study, product sampling, record keeping and formal writing, the children will visit an apple orchard, a cranberry bog, a maple sugaring site, and a farm. While there, the students will develop a better understanding of the processes involved in the growing of food and the unique environments of each product. The classes will comprehend the importance of the farmer, as well as the economic dispersion, while following the crop from harvesting to market.

Contact: Lorraine M. Aveni First Grade Teacher Brockton School Department Franklin School 59 Sawtell Avenue Brockton, MA 02302

Project Duration: Fall of 2000 and spring and summer of 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $1,500.

 

Grant 6     Expanding Floriculture Beyond Local State Borders

A function of the project is to provide an opportunity for students to work with national and international floral designers and to work with flowers and floral materials from around the country and the world. The opportunity to learn how to use a digital camera and computers in the development of employment portfolios and for the expanded use in the business field will also be made available to each pupil. The skills the students learn will be used back in the classroom as well as in their floral jobs in Massachusetts.

Contact: Denise Megiel-Rollo, Bristol County Agricultural High School, 135 Center Street Dighton, MA 02715

Project Duration: September 2000 until January 31, 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000

 

Grant 7       Learning With Apples

The National Coalition for Educational and Cultural Programs would like to work with Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom in order to promote local farms and orchards and increase learning and awareness in young children. Despite our big name, we are a small, local, grassroots organization with a track record of successful projects that benefit children and encourage the care of and respect for our environment. We view this as an exciting opportunity in which we can continue and extend this mission. Towns involved in the initial project with be North of Boston, Ipswich, Rowley, Topsfield, Danvers, Peabody, Lynnfield, Beverly and Stoneham. The finished product enables this project to be easily adapted to service any school in the state.

Contact: Debby Henry, The National Coalition for Educational and Cultural Programs 38 Montvale Avenue, Suite 330, Stoneham, MA 02180

Project Duration:    Fall of 2000 through February 1, 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $950

 

3rd Cycle (November 2000)

 

Grant 1   Aquaponics Project

The school already has two 12 foot by 20 foot portable greenhouses and a 440 gallon recirculating system for raising fish. The project will add plant benches and set up a hydroponics system for raising lettuce and tomatoes. In addition the teacher would like to add an indoor pond to raise and maintain Koi year round. The ultimate goal is to use the aquaponics facility for education and to develop a marketable crop. Bill attended the Aquaponics workshop on October 19th at Stony Meadows Farm, which inspired the project.

Contact:   Bill Thrasher, Whitman Hanson Regional High School, 600 Franklin Street, Whitman MA 02382

Project Duration:   Begins fall of 2000 and continues through year into future years

Mini-Grant Award: $1289

 

Grant 2   The Development of an Inexpensive Water Chiller for the Hatching of Salmonoid Eggs in the Classroom

During the past four years, Durfee students have been introduced to a wide range of up-to-date aquaculture practices as participants in a recently introduced course known as Marine science and Aquaculture. These students have successfully hatched and reared carious species of trout within the classroom and laboratory environment. In order to raise these valuable fish, a major problem exists. The obstacle is related to the necessity of maintaining cold water within the system, and has been traditionally solved by the purchase of very expensive commercial water chilling equipment. Trout are adapted to cold water and must be reared in water significantly lower than room temperature. In conjunction with the grant, Durfee students will attempt to overcome this costly problem by designing and constructing a "low cost chiller" which may serve as the prototype for others to be constructed at other school locations so that additional students may enjoy the satisfaction which students at Durfee have in their trout raising venture. The grant will also include visit to two trout farms.

Contact: Jack Skammels - Durfee High School - 360 Elsbree Street Fall River, MA 02720

Project Duration: 2001 School year

Mini-Grant Award: $928

 

Grant 3     Clocker's Composting

The proposed project, entitled Clocker's Composting, encompasses the implementation of a two-bin composting system at Ashland High/Middle School. A curriculum will be developed for this project incorporating this system into Environmental Science and other related courses. It's focus will be on agriculture, namely the scientific principles involved in decomposition, soil and plant growth, teaching the students good agricultural practices in a hands-on manner, as well as applying what they have learned to the real world with a study of Massachusetts farming. The intent of this project is to promote a better understanding of agriculture and encourage students to reuse the limited resources available to us.

Contact: Christine Scott Ashland High School 87 West Union Street Ashland, MA 01721

Project Duration: School Year 2000-2001 and future years.

Mini-Grant Award: $500

 

Grant 4     Farm Discoveries

This project will introduce young residents of the Conway House, a non-profit homeless shelter for single women and their children located in Middleboro, to farm life through a variety of hands-on activities during visits to the Soule Homestead Education Center and outreach programs at the Conway House. Most of the approximately 25 to 30 children who live at the House at any one time are between the ages of 5 to 12. Two visits per month to the Homestead will be scheduled for school age children. If transportation can be arranged, all of those children will attend twice a month. If not, half the group will attend each time. The mothers and younger children will participate in the monthly programs that will be offered at the Conway House. The focus will be on understanding the importance of farms in their lives, from providing food, clothing and other products to protecting wildlife habitat and open space taught through such activities as butter making, spinning, gardening, composting, animal care and hiking.

Contact:  Karen Dusek Soule Homestead Education Center 46 Soule Street Middleborough, MA 02346

Project Duration:    Winter, Spring and Summer 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $900

 

Grant 5     From Farm to Table

Research indicates that a growing numbers of children have no contact with the world of agriculture or where their food comes from. "From Farm to Table" is a three-year, collaborative project designed to provide a broad range of experiences for youth, families and teachers, with the goal of re-engaging children with agriculture and rural heritage. Planned activities include teacher's training, curriculum development, the production of an inter-disciplinary lesson book, school programs, and a hands-on heritage breed program for children and families. All activities will promote awareness of the environmental, historical, scientific, and technological dimensions of farming. Emphasis is on experiential activities with plants and animals that promote discovery, hypothesis, creative problem-solving, and other higher level thinking activities. The project will promote understanding of what it takes to bring food to the table, while fostering respect for the challenges and complexities of farm life in Massachusetts.

Contact: Tom Gardener, President, New England Heritage Breeds Conservancy, P.O. Box 20 Richmond, MA 01254

Project Duration: Fall 2000 through Summer 2001

Mini-Grant Award: $1,000

 

Grant 6     Aquaponics in the Classroom

Nauset Regional High School has been offering environmental science classes for many years. We have established close ties with the Eastham Department of Natural Resources and their shellfish propagation program. Students work on shellfish aquaculture projects with the town. In recent years we have also expanded into finfish aquaculture. The town of Eastham is the home of a regional aquaculture research center where students have participated in both shellfish and saltwater finfish aquaculture projects. In the classroom we have a 400 gallon freshwater recirculating system. This will be our first year raising fish. We hope to raise Koi. In the last few years we have also started to include hydroponics in our environmental classes. We have a couple small NFT systems, one small ebb and flow system and several passive systems. We have recently become interested in adding aquaponics to the curriculum. This grant will allow us to add an aquaponics system to our existing 400 gallon tank. We feel it will be a valuable teaching tool for teaching about sustainable agriculture and as a model for ecosystem studies.

Contact: Valerie Bell, Nauset Regional High School P.O. Box R, North Eastham, MA 02651-5046

Project Duration: January 2001 through June 2001 and will be incorporated in future years

Mini-Grant Award: $809.

MAC Mini-Grant Winners 2000

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