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A Fun Summer for the Blueberry Harvest School

The Blueberry Harvest School, a project of the Maine Migrant Education Program and run by Mano en Mano, just wrapped up three weeks of busy classes, outdoor activities, field trips, and learning in Downeast Maine. With the overall theme of “Learning Maine,” the weeks were divided into three different themes with corresponding lessons and excursions. Other enrichments included art, music, and cultural studies with a variety of teachers. Additionally, at the Parent Night, parents were able to tour the school, enjoy a dinner together with all of the teaching staff, and watch short presentations by each class of students.

During the first week of Coastal Ecology theme, the youngest students visited Roque Bluffs beach for a field trip to explore the coast and the many delights found there. Older students spent a day with the Schoodic Institute learning about tide pools, and the whole school enjoyed a visit from the touch tank of the Downeast Institute and the “green crab lady.”

The second week featured Sustainable Food Systems, with a focus on learning about gardening, growing food, and composting. Three and four-year-old children enjoyed a trip to a local Alpaca Farm where they could see animals up close. Five and six-year-olds were able to visit a Creekside Farm and Salty Dog Farm, two local vegetable farms located in Milbridge. The farmers led tours of their green houses, barn, animal pastures, and vegetable plots. Older students traveled to Mandala Farm in Gouldsboro. Finally, students participated in a Pollinators Workshop rounding out the week about the importance of bees in nature and in our gardens.

For the third week’s theme of Sustainable Marine Fisheries, students learned about the different systems at the Downeast Salmon Federation in Columbia Falls and also took a field trip on a fishing boat.

While the three weeks certainly flew by, the staff at the Blueberry Harvest School was able to fit in a lot of content and many varied experiences for the children in a very short time. We’re already looking forward to what will come next summer!

The Blueberry Harvest School is a hands-on, student-centered, educational summer program for the eligible children (ages 3-13) of migratory workers as certified by the Maine Migrant Education Program during the blueberry harvest in Washington County. The program lasts approximately three to four weeks and is conducted in accordance with Title 1, Part C, Sections 1301-1309 of the No Child Left Behind Act; 34 CFR, Parts 200.81-200.89; Maine Migrant Education Program’s Service Delivery Plan; and Education Evolving: Maine’s Plan for Putting Learners First (Maine Department of Education’s Strategic Plan).

Non-Descrimination Statement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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