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Monthly news & updates
February 2022 | Issue #125
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"Read ME Agriculture" 2022
You can still sign up for our 2022 "Read ME Agriculture" Program until February 11th!!
Read ME Week is March 21 - 25, 2022. This year’s book is “Tomatoes for Neela” by Padma Lakshmi. Every classroom that participates will receive the hardcover book and accompanying lessons and activities. To best serve the hundreds of classrooms throughout our state that participate in Read ME each year, the 2022 program will be a hybrid model where classrooms can decide the delivery method that works best for them. Options will include in-person and virtual readings. Classrooms can locate their own reader or ask MAITC to help. 
If you are interested, please complete this google form by February 11, 2022. Then MAITC will contact you to fine tune your participation.

Please email us with any questions at:
Garden & Food Educators - Quarterly Curriculum Exchange!
We are excited to announce the start of a Quarterly Curriculum Exchange and planning meeting, a new subcommittee of the Maine Farm to School Network. Meetings will take place in February, May, August, and November, to provide space to plan curriculum for the season ahead in a peer setting. This is intended to serve Garden & Food Educators in K-12 schools, as a workgroup/ professional development space. We recommend talking to your administration to get this time approved as professional development (although it does not count specifically to CEU's yet).
Our February meeting will focus on sharing, planning, and peer mentoring for Spring Garden Curriculum. To prepare please:

The February meeting will be on Wednesday, February 16th, 2:30-4pm via Zoom.
UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Building Agricultural Literacy Through an Immersive Culinary Experience Grant Update 
Attention High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors!!!!
MAITC and UMaine Cooperative Extension are offering mini-grant funds of up to $2,000 for agricultural literacy education programs at Maine High School Career Technical Education Culinary Arts Programs. The deadline for e-mail submission is 5:00 PM on March 1, 2022. Follow this link for grant applications.
The application is simple: Provide a short description of your proposed project, estimated budget, timeline and how it will impact agricultural literacy education and/or promote the use of local foods in your Culinary Arts Program.

Save the Dates!

April 28, 2022
High School CTE Culinary Arts Local Foods Competition at UMO
FMI contact Kathy Savoie at:

July 25 - July 28, 2022
Immersive Culinary Arts Summer Institute
A professional development opportunity specifically designed for Maine High School CTE Culinary Arts Instructors. 
FMI contact Kathy Savoie at:
APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN for the Maine Farm & Sea to School Institute!
Applications NOW OPEN!

The Maine Farm and Sea to School Institute is a year-long professional opportunity for Maine schools/districts to develop a Farm and Sea to School (FSTS) program. Schools receive a year of technical support from Maine’s experts and participate in a 3-day Academy Program August 16-18, 2022 at The Ecology School. Learn more and apply by March 1, 2022 at 

To get involved in Institute planning or financially support the Institute launch, contact MFSN coordinator at
MAITC Summer Teachers Institute
Save the Dates
for August 2-4, 2022!

Instead of a week long, this year's Summer Teacher's Institute will be a little abbreviated from years past, but will include overnight stay and a full day of traveling workshops!
Stay tuned for more information on location and content!
Harvest of the Month - February is Maine Root Vegetables!
Check out our Root Vegetables Resource Page for lessons, activities, books, and more!

Click here for the great HOM materials - posters, fact sheets, recipes, social media promo, and more!

Search the Ag Literacy Curriculum Matrix for even MORE resources!

All of our HOM Resource Pages can be found on our Teach ME site under "Teaching Units"
TEACHER SCHOLARSHIPS to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference!!!
Come with us to Saratoga Springs, NY!
June 28th through July 1st, 2022.

This conference is the premier professional development experience for teachers who use food and agriculture as a lens for learning to meet their academic goals.
Meet educators from across the country, choose from a full slate of workshops, hear nationally renowned keynote speakers and roll up your sleeves to discover ways of integrating agriculture into your classroom.

Maine AITC is planning transportation and teacher scholarships for the 2022 National AITC Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY!
We are asking teachers to commit a $100 down payment to attend. After attending the conference and filling out the evaluation, teachers will receive $50 back. MAITC will cover the rest - National Conference registration ($435), travel (Cyr Bus Coach), and lodging! Up to 20 contact hours or 2 CEUs will be awarded for teacher recertification. If you are interested please respond HERE.
Back To School Gardens
Check out this video to learn more about the Back to School Garden (BTSG) program! In this video, Richard Hodges of ReTreeUs shows us how to create a back to school garden for fall. Using three to four layers of craft paper, covered by 2 to 3 inches of quality cured compost, Richard plants some drought resistant Black Dakota popping corn using seeds saved by the Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, Me. and pumpkin seeds. This provides a low maintenance summer garden to harvest when the kids come back too school in the fall.
More info:
NAITC Teacher Center

The Teacher Center on the National Ag in the Classroom website has tons of resources!
Ready-made ag quizzes, ag stats and facts, themes for learning for K-5, course topics for 7-12, student centered tools for teaching and learning, and SO much MORE! Check it out!
Teacher Resources Section
Why People Need Plants. Grades K-2. Students determine that plants provide people with food, clothing, shelter, and many other things that we use in our daily lives.

Desktop Greenhouses. Grades 3-5. Students investigate the importance of light to plants by creating a desktop greenhouse investigation and exploring the process of photosynthesis. 

Climate Change Phenomena: Bananas in Our Breadbasket? Grades 6-8. Students will explore the carbon cycle and evaluate associated phenomena of climate as they discover the impact climate change could have on the farms that produce our food.

One in a Million. Grades 9-12. In this lesson, students will learn about solutes and solvents and will use serial dilution while investigating parts per million—a term used to describe the nutrient concentration of a fertilizer solution.

Looking for more? Explore the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix HERE

Join Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal as she visits three greenhouses to discuss growing techniques, explores the facilities, and presents the 2022 DACF Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award. This virtual session also includes a special message from Governor Mills. 
Activities & Resources
GrowLab: Classroom Activities for Indoor Gardens and Grow Lights. This curriculum uses fun, illustrated activities to explore life cycles, examine plant diversity, and investigate the interdependence between plants and humans. Whether you're growing plants in a greenhouse, under grow lights or on a windowsill, this comprehensive book provides you with all the information you need to use plants as a teaching tool in your classroom to engage young minds. Grades K-8. Meets National Science Standards.

Martian Food Video. Show your students a neat application of hydroponics and climate controlled greenhouses with this video teaching about the NASA-funded research taking place at the University of Arizona. The goal of this research is to discover a successful method for food to be grown in space.

Vertical Farming Video and Activities. This 2-minute video explores a potential innovation in agriculture, vertical farming. Watch the video and use the discussion questions and accompanying activities to help students think critically as they weigh the pros and cons of this method of farming.
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.

This document is a compilation of agriculture related resources to be used in virtual and remote learning.

Pictures, videos, and words are hyperlinked throughout the document.
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 StaffordDonate Here.
Our Mission Statement
"To promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public"  
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