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Monthly news & updates
June 2020 | Issue #105
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Summer Teacher's Institute - Canceled
With sad hearts we are going to cancel our Summer Teacher's Institute this year.

Not to worry though, the 2021 Institute will be back with the fabulous agenda from past years. We invite teachers to visit the website and Facebook page for hundreds of lessons, teaching units, videos and more.

MAITC is in the early stages, as the climate of uncertainty allows, in planning 1-day Educator workshops for next fall and winter. Stay tuned into our upcoming monthly newsletters for more information!
FREE Ag Literacy Professional Development!
Because of COVID-19-related issues, National Agriculture in the Classroom had to cancel this year's national conference 'Agriculture Elevated' in Salt Lake City, Utah. But the organization and its sponsors wanted teachers and volunteer educators to receive some agricultural literacy professional development training this summer so it has scheduled the 2020 NAITC Virtual Summit June 24-25, the same days as the canceled conference. 

Enjoy the online workshops free of charge from the comfort of your home. The sessions are open to anyone interested in pre-kindergarten-12th grade agricultural literacy. Twelve, one-hour workshops have been scheduled for Wednesday June 24 and Thursday June 25. The six workshops on the first day are geared to elementary levels. The six workshops on the second day are geared to secondary levels. These trainings cover reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM and other subject areas, and some of the presenters are the developers of these lessons and are teachers, Agriculture in the Classroom state contacts and National Center for Agricultural Literacy (NCAL) curriculum specialists.

To learn more about the virtual workshops to be presented, the presenters who will be conducting them and the dates and times of these presentations, please visit  NAITC Virtual Summit Agenda
To register for the Virtual Summit, please visit  Virtual Summit Registration . Please be aware that to participate in the workshops, you must register to receive the Zoom links for them. 
Victory Gardens - "Sow the Seeds for Victory!"
Victory Gardens were started during World War I and World War II to prevent food shortages. Throughout both world wars, the Victory Garden campaign served as a successful means of boosting morale, expressing patriotism, safeguarding against food shortages on the home front, and easing the burden on the commercial farmers working arduously to feed troops and civilians overseas. In 1942, roughly 15 million families planted victory gardens; by 1944, an estimated 20 million victory gardens produced roughly 8 million tons of food—which was the equivalent of more than 40 percent of all the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States!
In our quickly changing world, victory gardens are on the rise once again.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has been creating Victory Garden for ME videos , a series that consists of short, pre-recorded videos geared towards Mainers growing their first vegetable garden. They have also been hosting weekly garden chats to answer common gardening questions, and they’re creating videos for food preservation as well. 
The Classroom Victory Garden Project is a resource from the National World War II museum which has curriculum , posters , and loads of information about victory gardens.
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom GRANTS PROGRAM
In 2020, funding is earmarked for grants in 5 categories! This support of Maine agriculture education in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12 is a direct result of the Maine Agricultural Specialty License Plate.
For more information on our grants program or to view archived lists of past winners, check out the Grants Program page on our website.

Apply for a grant in one of our five categories, click the links below for more information and applications:

*** If your 2019 grant has been delayed you can receive a 1-year, no-cost extension by emailing the request to  before your final report deadline. ***
Video Resources

Maine School Garden Network has a new YouTube Channel ! They are starting this channel in response to the COVID19 pandemic and the associated school closures throughout Maine. Recognizing there are hundreds of school gardens across the state that are ready and waiting for seeds of opportunity this spring, this channel will be a resource for school garden coordinators and volunteers to foster remote learning, and learn about ways to make sure your school garden is flourishing next fall.

FoodCorps Maine Service Members are coming together to create videos with food and garden lessons for K-5 students. They have videos on seed activities, seed germination, and planting at home.
Check out their YouTube Channel !

MAITC Read Aloud Videos
We have been working to create read aloud videos of all six of the books in our "Agriculture for ME" series. You can find them in the video library on our website!
Harvest of the Month - June is Maine Leafy Greens!
Check out this video from UMaine Cooperative Extension about growing microgreens indoors!
Check out the great HOM materials:

Check out our recently updated
Leafy Greens Resource Page for lessons, activities, and more!
Here's a read aloud video of Sylvia's Spinach with author Katherine Pryor. This picture book is about a picky eater who grows spinach in her school garden and learns how delicious it is to try something new.
Daily Resources available on our Facebook Page
If you're looking for more resources to implement during remote teaching, head on over to Facebook and like
We are posting resources on a daily basis - lessons, videos, and activities
Teacher Resources Section
Farm Animal Match . Grades PreK-2. Students will match farm animals with their young, learn the terminology for males, females, and baby animals, and identify the products each farm animal produces. Download pdf . Copy Google Doc .

Dirt Shake . Grades 3-5. Students will explore soil texture by conducting a test to determine the texture of their soil in their garden or yard. Download pdf . Copy Google Doc .

Apple Genetics: A Tasty Phenomena . Grades 6-8. Using the context of apples, students will apply their knowledge of heredity and genetics to distinguish between sexual and asexual reproduction as they explain how new varieties of apples are developed and then propagated to meet consumer demand for a tasty, uniform, consistent product. Download pdf . Copy Google Doc .

Evaluating GMO Perspectives . Grades 9-12. While many view genetically modified crops as a promising innovation, there is controversy about their use. This lesson provides students with a brief overview of the technology, equipping them with the ability to evaluate the social, environmental, and economic arguments for and against genetically modified crops. Download pdf . Copy Google Doc .

Learn about how raspberries grow in this video,
Two Truths and a Lie - You're scrolling through social media and come across a food meme. Is this fact or fiction? Use this activity to help students debunk food and farming misconceptions. Then, put these resources to work by incorporating the agricultural themes into student research projects.
Stay Connected with Maine School Garden Network

Join the Maine School Garden Network on June 11th for a discussion on summer tips and gardening Q&A with a school garden expert!

For notes from past meetings, dates & agendas for upcoming meetings, and other related resources, visit their webpage at:

Mark your calendar for this next opportunity to connect!
Garden Curriculum Bins
A partnership between Cultivating Community, FoodCorps, Portland Public Schools, and St. Mary’s Nutrition Center is releasing Next Gen Science Standard (NGSS) aligned
curriculum bins for garden-based education. They've compiled lesson plans and resources that best fit into the needs of Portland Public School teachers from years of feedback,
and are inviting all Maine schools to use the resource!

School Gardens are a movement to connect learning to hands-on, living experiences to support achievement, mental health, skill building, connection to food systems and nutrition, and the list goes on. These bins have been created with Maine teachers in mind, with access to any range of garden space, with the hope that having a clear series of lessons that are linked to a couple of standards is a helpful tool to using outdoor spaces or your school garden for teaching.
Maple Curriculum Support:  Tapping into Maple Tradition   - Lessons for K-12 Classrooms.

Looking for field trips? Check out Get Real Get Maine's Food, Farms, and Forest Search

ReTreeUS plants orchards in schools and provides educational programs that empower people to be healthy environmental stewards.

See the Maine Farm to School Census here . Are you participating?

Maine School Garden Network provides resources and technical assistance for all school gardens across Maine!

Search the National Ag in the Classroom Curriculum Matrix for resources

Fuel Up to Play 60 offers educators a wide array of resources they can use to help students make sustainable changes in their school environment.

Agroworld is an agricultural science e-zine developed for the secondary educator.

KidsGardening has ideas about plants and gardens, teacher resources, and grant opportunities.

The Chop Chop magazine and website has easy and healthy recipes.

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has curriculum, games, and resources available for educators and students.
Funding from this plate has impacted up to 200,000 students annually with lessons, materials, volunteers and teacher training. Annually up to $60K is distributed in grants to schools, FFA, 4-H and other Non-profit programs for Ag education initiatives by the Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Council.
Donate today  to The Maine Agriculture in the Classroom Association
The Non-profit, completely volunteer, portion of MAITC. These funds are used directly to support teacher scholarships and recognition, and support volunteer participation for Ag education programs. Your donation is completely tax deductible and you can make a one-time donation or a recurring monthly donation which will support the mission, "to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public." If you have any other questions or would like to join this group please contact the chairman,  Maryjane Stafford Donate Here .
Our Mission Statement
"To promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public"  
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