Cream of the Crop

December 2008

2008 Imagine this... Regional Winners
The 2008 regional winners have been selected in the Foundation's story writing contest. This year, 45 regional winners from California are now vying for top statewide honors. The list of regional winners is available on the CFAITC Web site. Statewide winners will be announced Jan 1, 2009. Congratulations young authors!

What's Growin' On? Planting Healthy Lives
Free class sets of the 6th edition of the student newspaper tab are still available. Request a set for your classroom, or enough for your whole school. This issue focuses on the nutrients needed to grow healthy plants. Activities throughout the publication meet third through eighth grade California Public School Content Standards. The 7th edition, "Linking You to California Agriculture," will be released after the first of the year.
Request a free class set.

2008 Teacher Resource Guide and Teacher Resources CD
The 2008 Teacher Resource Guide lists nearly 600 free or low-cost resources, nearly 650 books and more than 550 Web sites that can help bring agriculture to life for students, teachers and parents. The Teacher Resources CD also includes PDF versions of 14 comprehensive units and lesson plans, 28 fact/activity sheets, and more. Do you have your copy of these references? Do you colleagues have a copy? Would you like to hand them out at an upcoming event?
Request your free copy, or in quantity, from the CFAITC Web site.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program
Application deadline: Dec. 12, 2008
$2.1 million in funds are available from USDA, through CDE, to elementary school sites to provide students with a variety of free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks throughout the school day as a supplement to (and not part of) the school breakfast and school lunch programs, and to teach students about good nutrition.
For more information, and application package, visit

California School Nutrition Association Annual Conference
Jan. 9-12, 2009, San Diego
School Lunch Rocks! is the theme for the 56th annual California School Nutrition Association Annual Conference. Workshop topics include "Creative and Innovative Ways to Increase Lunch Participation" and "Healthy Edge."
For more information, and to register, visit

Master Gardener Volunteer Training - UCCE Los Angeles
Application deadline: Jan. 31, 2009
Saturdays, Mar. 7-May 30, 2009
Cost: $150
Want to become a Master Gardener or school advisor? Los Angeles County residents who want to help teach low- and limited-resource individuals how to grow and eat more nutritious vegetables and fruits should apply to attend 13 classes this spring.
For more information, and to request an application packet, please contact Gloria Mitchell at 323/260-3348.

California Fertilizer Foundation School Garden Grants
Deadline: January 15, 2009
The California Fertilizer Foundation provides direct funding to California schools for garden projects. The gardens provide an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to truly "grow" together. Each year, twenty-four $1,200 grants for garden projects are available to schools throughout California. At the end of each year, winning schools can re-apply for a progress grant of $1,500 and a free agricultural field trip.
To learn more, and to apply, visit

California Fertilizer Foundation - "Fertilizer" Bags
These 12" x 15" plastic bags from the California Fertilizer Foundation look like fertilizer bags when filled with goodies gathered at ag days or special ag-related events. The bag itself is an educational tool teaching readers what the three numbers on a fertilizer label mean. Request should be sent via e-mail to Pam Emery. Include the date and title of the event, contact name and phone number, quantity, a UPS shipping address, and a description of how these bags will be used. Quantities are limited and will only be provided to programs that educate youth about agriculture.

ING Unsung Heroes Awards Program
Deadline: Apr. 30, 2009
ING financial services organization is offering 100 awards of $2,000 each to K-12 educators in the United States to help further their projects within their school or school system. Each year, three top winners are selected from the 100 finalists to receive additional awards of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000.
For more information, and to apply, visit

Great Plant Escape
The Great Plant Escape Web site includes links to several resources for children's gardening, lesson plans, activities and grants. The lesson itself, from the University of Illinois Extension, has six cases for learning about plant parts, soil, seeds, and more. Solve the case!