The GOT Farms Mission:
Students and teachers at Telstar Middle and High School are collaborating on a project to improve the health of the citizens of the SAD#44 by working toward the following goals:
-Use the school gardens and greenhouse to grow food for the Telstar Complex, and to support learning across the Telstar curriculum.
-Raise awareness of the importance of eating organically and locally.
-Strengthen our “Farm to School” connections and work together with the kitchen staff and the community to bring local foods to the Telstar table more often.
-Develop sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations and businesses in the SAD #44 community.
To learn more about our recent efforts, click HERE.
Our mission has evolved over time. We produced this 2-minute film to show at the Bethel Area Non-Profit Forum in April of 2010. It includes our original mission statement and a slideshow of some of our early efforts.
How did this project get started?
The GOT Farms project was initiated in the Fall of 2009 by the students of the Community Service Arts class at Telstar Middle School, Melissa Prescott (TMS Visual Art Teacher), Sarah Savage (THS Special Education Teacher), and the students of Mrs. Savage’s Satellite group. This project was also the focus of the 2009-10 Telstar Middle School ArtReach, an annual service-learning project that is part of the TMS Visual Art Curriculum. The ArtReach was designed to give students the opportunity to use their artwork to help their community. Telstar High School has been working to promote student community service work, and this project has provided an opportunity for students to easily serve their community right here at Telstar. GOT Farms has also provided an opportunity for positive TMS/THS collaborations as it continues as an after school program for middle and high school students led by TMS teachers Kate Slattery and Melissa Prescott.
In our first year, we worked with district’s Food Services staff and other community partners to plan a “Maine Harvest Lunch” at the Telstar Complex. For more information about this Maine Harvest Lunch event – click HERE. We also took a field trip to Wood’s Edge Farms in Albany. The purpose of this trip was to support the GOT Farms project by educating students about sustainable agriculture in Maine. The farm owner, Kim Patnode, gave us a tour of her farm and she taught us about organic farming, composting, greenhouse use, other season extension techniques, and the everyday responsibilities of growing food. She also showed us how her house is powered through renewable energy sources. Our students also spent some time volunteering at her farm to learn about farm maintenance and thank her for her help with the “Maine Harvest Lunch.” Kim helped us in our first season as our “garden advisor,” helping students plan and create our school garden.
Also in our first year, the TMS Film class created a documentary film to educate the community about the GOT Farms project and inspire them to help. This film premiered at the 5th annual ArtReach event, held December 10th, 2009 from 5-8pm at the Telstar Complex. You can see this film on the homepage of this website. As it has in past years, the ArtReach event included a student art exhibit and sale, an auction of artworks donated by local artists, and a program of special student performances. We raised $1,200 at the 2009 ArtReach to benefit the GOT Farms project and we have continued work on fundraising and educational events and efforts ever since. Many of these efforts are detailed on this website.
If you have any questions about this project, please let us know. We would like to involve as many SAD#44 staff and community members as possible. Please contact us if you would like to be involved in this project in any way.
-Melissa Prescott – GOT Farms Advisor, TMS Visual Art Teacher – firstname.lastname@example.org
Telstar Middle/High School
284 Walker’s Mills Rd.
Bethel, ME 04217
For more information about the ArtReach event – please visit the TMS Art website: www.tmsart.wordpress.com
“This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2008-45201-04715, Amendment 2. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
GOT Farms is a 4-H MYCA education program. 4-H Maine Youth Community Action (MYCA) is Maine’s program based on a grant program called Engaging Youth, Serving Community program of National 4-H Council.