SEDGWICK—It’s no secret that young children enjoy getting their hands dirty while digging for earthworms or preparing the soil to plant seeds.
Teachers at Sedgwick Elementary School recognized that when that proclivity is combined with school-aged students’ curiosity about the world in which they live, it creates opportunities to use an existing 2,700-square-foot greenhouse to teach science, math and skills related to gardening and agriculture, said Sarah Doremus, science, technology, art and mathematics teacher. The school’s greenhouse program was awarded two COVID-related grants totaling $3,650, which Doremus said will be used to repair and improve the structure and purchase supplies needed to incorporate the program into the curriculum.
In April, the Maine Environmental Education Association informed Doremus that the greenhouse program had been selected to receive a $650 grant to support outdoor learning programs. Then, in July, the Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) awarded the program a $3,000 grant. In all, MFT awarded 20 grants totaling $50,000 to organizations that work to increase “food sustainability and community health on the Blue Hill Peninsula, according to a press release. “Many of this year’s grants will fund projects that support food security efforts, which has become increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Doremus added that the greenhouse program has also been approved for a small COVID emergency scholarship grant from the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom program (MAITC), though the amount is not yet known. The maximum MAITC greenhouse grant is $2,000, according to the organization’s website.
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