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      April Newsletter





 

Staying Connected
Distance Learning Resources
Upcoming Virtual Gatherings
Share Your Experiences
Featured Activity

       *Nature Journaling*
STAYING CONNECTED
Donate to MSGN today! 

You can find an ever-growing Strategies for Remote School Garden Engagement document on our website. Our network invites you to provide resources or tips you may have to assist others at this time. Topics include safety, videos, curricula, and funds. Please contribute to this share document, or just take some tips from it.

Keep reading for more helpful information, including opportunities for gathering with others virtually. MSGN is offering more of these opportunities. See below or our website for more information.

 
LESSONS & INFORMATION
A Small Selection

 

Here are a few highlights from MSGN's Strategies for Remote School Garden Engagement working document:

Community Learning for ME – hub of resources, activities, and live programs

SGSO Network's Garden-Based Learning Distance Teaching Resources – sortable by various categories-- target audience, includes links to other resource lists, videos. Also includes links to videos by educators of story book readings.

MAITC’s Resources to aid in remote teaching – includes the Agriculture for ME book series with lessons and activities, video resources, Maine Harvest of the Month resources, and more

FoodCorps COVID-19 Resources – includes adapted lessons for at-home instruction, with resource lists for educators, families, school nutrition professionals, and community members & others who want to support. 

Online Nature Connection Learning Resources from Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA), including Earth Day activities, simple nature-based resources, virtual field trips, and environmental ed  learning resources from across the country

KidsGardening.org – Ideas for kids, parents, and teachers. Includes learning at home resources for families, distance instruction resources for teachers, suggestions for public garden maintenance (like cover cropping) as well as gardening tips for beginners.

Growing Minds Day by Day weekly educational resources for use by parents, caregivers, and educators. Follows a structure (M – books/poems, T – recipes, W – online resources, Th – activities, F – wildcard) from North Carolina

Pandemic Gardening from the National Gardening Association includes curriculum, gardening guides, gardening podcasts, etc.
UPCOMING VIRTUAL GATHERINGS
Maine-Based & Beyond

 

Here are a few ways to stay connected, in real-time:

COVID-19 Community Calls with MEEA Environmental Education. Next: 4/23, 3-4pm

Virtual Gatherings with the National School Garden Support Organization Network, 4/22, 4/24, 4/29, 5/6; 2-3pm EST

Weekly Sessions of Teacher Support from Maine Audubon. Next: 4/22 1pm


Garden Chats from UMaine Extension. Next: 4/22 12pm

Gardening Q&A with MOFGA. Next: 4/28, 9:30am

MSGN Network Meetings Next: 4/29 11-12:30, 4/30 3-4:30, 5/20 11-12:30, 5/21 3-4:30

Professional Learning Opportunities for educators & leaders with Maine Math & Science Alliance. Upcoming: 4/30 2-3pm

Upcoming free webinars from edWeb.net, including “Supporting Every Student Online,” “Moving Online: Rethinking K-5 Math Instruction,” and “Remote Learning Toolkit.” 

Webinar: Save the Pollinators! Save the Planet! from Ecological Landscape Alliance's virtual weekly Walks in the Garden. Next: 4/22 12-1pm

Slow Food Live sessions weekly. Next: 4/22 at 2pm
ZOOM WITH THE NETWORK!
Join MSGN's Discussions

 

MSGN will be hosting virtual gatherings. We started these at the beginning of April (if you missed it, find the recordings and recap notes on our website) and have some others on the calendar:
  • Wednesday, 4/29 11:00am -12:30pm
  • Thursday, 4/30 3:00 - 4:30pm
  • Wednesday, 5/20 11:00am - 12:30pm
  • Thursday, 5/21 3:00 - 4:30pm
RSVP for these conversations is not required. Meeting information will be linked on our website, msgn.org/covid-19. We will post the notes on our website following these conversations there as well. If you have specific topics you'd like to discuss (sheet mulching advice, fall planting ideas, best garden-based distance learning lessons) or would like the Zoom information sent to you directly, please contact Michelle directly, michelle@msgn.org

Another Way to Share
 
Submit Your Garden-Based Learning Distance Teaching Resources #CommunitiesFeedKids -  The Northeast Farm-to-School Collaborative has teamed up to collect stories and photos of how #CommunitiesFeedKids in this pandemic. Communities like yours are responding to COVID-19 with incredible generosity and ingenuity, recognizing the necessity of school meal programs and the connection to healthy and local food. Celebrate your community by sharing a story on your favorite social media platform (or share these Facebook and Instagram posts to get started). Tag your town, community, state or district - use #CommunitiesFeedKids. Tag @MaineFarmToSchoolNetwork on Facebook to share your Maine story!
NATURE JOURNALING

A great way to engage with the natural world is nature journaling! From engaging the senses to observing changes over time, journaling is a great way for children to engage with the nature. This activity gets them outside in their local environments, document findings in words and pictures. Basic materials needed for this are as limited, requiring a notebook and writing instrument, but can be built upon with adding color or using magnifying glasses. Freestyle observations or writing prompts may be used, and there are journal templates or how-to's available online, like these instructions from Maine Audubon or this Pollinator Journal from KidsGardening.org.
Note: If access to natural environments are limited, "visit" other natural environments from across the globe virtually!

For additional information: 
John Muir Laws has released a free PDF version of the book "How to Teach Nature Journaling" to help families and teachers.

Nature Journaling with Children article from howwemontessori.com

MAINE HARVEST
OF THE MONTH:
May is Wild Maine Blueberries!

Though schools' doors are closed, school food is very much in operation. Nutrition directors and cafeteria staff are working around the clock to see that children are fed now, and into the summer. 

Maine Harvest of the Month isn't taking any time off, either! Catch up on all the details and learn how you can prepare your garden to be the source for your "Harvest of the Month" here. Be sure to look for Maine Ag in the Classroom's lesson plans! And please let us know how we can support your school garden's participation in this program!

Plant Something Maine
Plant Something is a grassroots, nationally established campaign designed to increase the public’s support of local growers, nurseries, garden centers, and landscapers through awareness of the benefits of planting specialty crops for the landscape and garden. Plant Something Maine is a program of The Maine Landscape & Nursery Association (MELNA). If you’d like to learn more, then connect with them on facebook, visit their website, or subscribe to their newsletter.

A HUGE thank you to our SPONSORS!


















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