By the Box masthead
January/February 2011
In This Issue
EarthBox Around the World
EarthBox in Our Schools
EarthBox in Our Communities
Funding Opportunities
Instructional Plan for
EarthBox Learning
EarthBox Distributors
Join Our Community
About EarthBox
EarthBox Around the World:
 Loco About Coco Coir!

 

The Growing Connection is all about developing sustainable, low-cost, and efficient food growing techniques involving the use of the EarthBox. Now, we're adapting even more by working with partners in countries such as Haiti and India to develop local growing media for agricultural production. 

 

A common local medium that participants in our project are using is coir, a natural fiber made from coconut husks. In India, where a large percentage of the world's coir is produced, TGC's partner, AME Foundation, has found great success in growing trials for a variety of vegetables, including beans and tomatoes, using a mixture of coir and other local materials like red earth, sand, and organic manure.   

 

Coco Coir in Use

Coir (a.k.a. coco-peat) in use

 

Another TGC project partner, Project Medishare in Haiti, has been using bagasse (a by-product of sugar cane), sand, and soil to grow high value and nutritious crops such as peppers and lettuces in EarthBoxes. 

 

The successful experiences that TGC participants have had in using local media, even sometimes soilless ones, is great news! We anticipate more developments of local growing media that can be shared with TGC participants around the world, in order to make the EarthBox system a more accessible tool for all.

EarthBox In Our Schools:
 Nominate an Innovative High
School Science Teacher

 

It's time to put forth nominations for the 2011 AAAS Leadership in Science Education Prize for High School Teachers. Therefore, we urge you to toss the hats of any teachers using EarthBox Instructional School Gardens into the ring! 
 

This $1,000 prize honors a high school science teacher who has advanced science education by developing and implementing an effective strategy, activity, or program. EarthBoxes qualify!
 

The winner will also receive a complimentary one-year institutional subscription to Science magazine, and will be invited to attend and make a brief presentation at the annual Shanghai International Forum on Science Literacy of Pre-college Students in China, as a guest of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology. 
 

To access the prize details, nomination forms, and application forms, click here.

EarthBox Education Conferences
The Spring Schedule
 

If you've been wondering where the EarthBox Education Team will be making appearances this year, then wonder no more! 
 

Here's a list of our scheduled appearances thus far. We'll be adding new items as they're scheduled, and subtracting the old ones as they pass, so keep an eye on this box every issue!

 

Come see us at:

 

Pittcon Science Week Teacher's Workshop
3 pm, Sunday,  March 13

Atlanta, Georgia

American Montessori Society 2011 Conference
March 24-27

Chicago, Illinois

Booth 416

National Afterschool Association Conference
April 16-18

Orlando, Florida

National Catholic Education Association Conference
April 26-28

New Orleans,  Louisiana

Monthly Drawing for a $50 EarthBox Gift Certificate!
 

Educators, we want to support you in every way we can. One way we show our appreciation is with our bi-monthly drawing for a $50 EarthBox gift certificate.
 

This issue's winner is the Pennsylvania Office of the Aging Center in Mountainhome, Pennsylvania. Barbara Seese, who manages the senior program, tells us, "The seniors were delighted to have an easy way to garden and harvest healthy, fresh vegetables!"


Contest Winner

 

We'll be posting more winners as we choose them. Remember: to be eligible for the drawing, please mention the Source Code EDUDISC when ordering your EarthBox products.

Quick Links
 

Videos

Are You in the STEM Directory?
 

The National Directory of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) can help promote your after-school program, which in turn can lead to increased membership, funding, and partnership opportunities.  
 
The Coalition for Science After School has partnered with Time Warner Cable to create this on-line national directory, and participation is absolutely free. Time Warner Cable, to support children and families, will promote STEM with Public Service Announcements throughout a five-year campaign.
 

EarthBox Education wants to collectively upload information to the site. To do this, we need to hear from you. Please email your contact information and program description to Molly Philbin at molly.philbin@earthbox.com for loading. When the information is uploaded, you will receive an email with a login and password information, and you're in!  
 

Other STEM News 

Those educators who work with girls in STEM are encouraged to sign up for the National Girls Collaborative Project newsletter.  If you do, please include the word "EarthBox" in the Program Title field.  

 

EarthBox Education is supportive of The Afterschool Alliance and the National AfterSchool Association as they conduct surveys to assess the state of STEM in afterschool and summer programs around the country. The data obtained will be vital to helping better describe and promote the STEM learning that occurs after school and during the summer.

Associations
 
MGA Logo
 
Ag in the Classroom 

TERC

SEDL

CSGN

Tillywig
Greetings!

This year, those of us in the EarthBox Education Department are very excited, as we believe that we're going to make excellent progress in our mission to establish an EarthBox Instructional School Garden in every school. The whole country is becoming aware of how important it is for kids to eat healthy, know where their food comes from, and achieve success in the STEM subjects -- things EarthBox Education does best!

Our First Lady, along with the Departments of Human Services, Education, and Agriculture, is promoting the need for school gardens. Furthermore, topics at education conferences across the nation are focusing on going green and teaching science, technology, engineering, and math, content areas that we cover in detail in all our EarthBox Education curricula.
 

Top that off with a great group of Education Distributors and things are better than ever! Just click the easy access link on the left for a list of our distributors, or do a search for "Dealer Locator" under the Category Search page of our website
 

In addition, we're developing more resources and offering more technical support here at EarthBox. Among other things, in this newsletter you'll find links to ten different funding sources that can help you reach your goal of installing an EarthBox Garden in your classroom, schoolyard, or community.

A national movement to go green + to fight obesity + increase student success in STEM = EarthBox Instructional School Gardens!

 

Blind Us With Science

I'd also like to take this opportunity to announce the 2011 Google International Science Fair! This tres cool program is looking for "the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today." And what could be more relevant than something like the EarthBox growing system?

 

We'd love to see some EarthBox School Gardens entered into the Fair! Click here for more information. You've got until April 4, 2011 to enter.

 

Healthfully yours, 

Molly's Signature
Molly Philbin
Education Director
EarthBox, Inc.

 

P.S.  We're still offering our Youth Garden Guides and Snow Pea Growing Guides for 30% off the normal price. Snap 'em up while you can!

 

"The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts." -- C. S. Lewis

Olive Green ArrowEarthBox in Our Communities
Controlling Storm Water Erosion

Communities across the country experience erosion and pollution from storm water runoff, which costs money and causes ecological damage. As a responsible steward of the environment, EarthBox offers quantity discounts and technical support to help communities develop programs to handle storm runoff, beautify their neighborhoods, and source affordable food.

 

Successful management of a storm water program requires a strategic approach that targets key areas. Downtowns contribute significant storm water runoff due to the large amount of hardscape created by paved streets, parking lots and buildings. Retrofitting the gutters of small businesses with rain barrels and EarthBox Containers diminishes the runoff and beautifies store fronts and parking lots at a reasonable cost to a business. Collecting water from the rooftops of larger businesses in industrial parks may be more labor intensive and costly, but their rooftops can supply water for an EarthBox Community Garden, and a community with affordable food.

 

Adding EarthBox gardens and rain barrel collection to school and church hardscapes not only reduces run off, but also engages a community in the process. Homeowner Storm Water Management programs unite a community around a common goal similar to the recycling programs now operational in almost every community.

 

While it takes a village to implement an efficient EarthBox and rain barrel Storm Water Management program, one person can act as the agent of that change.  Together, we can reduce the amount of pollution that is killing our rivers, streams and bays, affect global climate changes, and source affordable food in our neighborhoods. 

 

If you're interested in becoming an agent of change in your community, contact Molly Philbin at 800-821-8838 x8369, or by email at molly.philbin@earthbox.com.

 

Environmental Grant Program

American Water state subsidiaries are now accepting applications for the 2011 Environmental Grant Program. Participating states will award grants of up to $10,000 to support diverse types of environmental sustainability activities such as watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects and hazardous waste collection efforts.

 

The deadline for entries is March 25, 2011.

 

To qualify for Environmental Grant funding, a proposed project must be:
 

  • Located within an American Water service area.
  • Completed between May 1, 2011 and November 30, 2011.
  • A new or innovative community initiative, or serve as significant expansion to an existing program.

Eligible States include California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan,   Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Click here to apply.

Olive Green ArrowFunding Opportunities
New Options
 
Here's a big list of funding opportunities we urge you to try for -- and don't forget the extra one in the "EarthBox in Our Communities" section!

Do Something Grant

Weekly grants awarded to young people ages 25 and under who want to start a community-based project or program.

Award Amount: $500.00.

Deadline: Weekly

Click here to apply.

 

Pepsi Refresh Project Grants

Submit an idea to promote Health & Fitness, Education, or any of six categories for a chance to win a Pepsi Refresh grant. Applications will be accepted during the first 15 days of each month or until 1,000 ideas are received, whichever comes first. 

Award Amount: Each month, up to $1.3 million will be awarded as follows: 2 Grants at the $250,000 level, 10 Grants at the $50,000 level, 10 Grants at the $25,000 level, and 10 Grants at the $5,000 level.

Deadline: Rolling  (no specific deadline)

All legal residents of the U.S. who are 13 years of age and older are eligible to apply.

Click here to apply. 

 

The Wal-Mart Foundation

The Wal-Mart Foundation supports programs and initiatives addressing education, workforce development, economic sustainability, and health and wellness. For health and wellness in particular, the Foundation looks to improve access to healthcare, promote healthy lifestyles and behaviors, and reduce disparities. Organizations that meet the eligibility requirements for these programs can request an application at their local Wal-Mart Store or Sam's Club.

Award Amount: $1,000 - $5,000.

Deadline: Rolling (no specific deadline)

Click here to apply.

 

Finish Line Youth Foundation Grants

The Finish Line Youth Foundation supports youth programs that are effective and inclusive, funding opportunities for participation in youth programs that place an importance on youth development and an active lifestyle. Grants generally range from $1,000 to $5,000, although the Foundation may occasionally make significant, larger grants to maximize the  funding impact in its interest areas. 

Award Amount: $1,000 to $5,000.

Deadline: Rolling  (no specific deadline)

Click here to apply.

 

Academic Enrichment Grants

The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants designed to develop in-class and extra-curricular programs that improve student learning. The Foundation considers proposals that foster understanding, deepen students' knowledge, and provide opportunities to expand awareness of the world around them. The Academic Enrichment Grants also provide funding for programs nurturing the intellectual, artistic and creative abilities of children from low-income households.

Award Amount: Up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of three years.

Deadline: May 1

Click here to apply.

 

BJ's Charitable Foundation Grants

Support will be given for hunger prevention, self sufficiency, health care and education. 

Deadline: Rolling (no specific deadline)

Click here to apply.

 

BNSF Foundation Educational Grants

Open to youth organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Camp Fire, Scouts, Junior Achievement and similar groups.

Deadline: Rolling (no specific deadline)

Click here to apply. 

 

Disney's Friends for Change Grants

Disney, together with Youth Service America (YSA), is proud to offer Disney's Friends for Change Grants to help kids who are making environmentally friendly changes in their communities. 

Deadline: April 17, 2011

Click here to apply.

 

The Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant

The Chesapeake Bay Trust Mini Grant Program awards up to $5,000 to support activities at schools and non-profit organizations that help promote awareness of and participation in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and streams. The Mini Grant Program is supported by a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Bay Watershed Education and Training Program.

Award Amount: Up to $5,000

Click here to apply.

Olive Green ArrowInstructional Plan for EarthBox Learning
Pre-K Sunflowers
 
The EarthBox Pre-K Warm Weather Twelve Week Sunflower Instructional Plan, the third in an ongoing series, can now be found on the education pages of our website. This Instructional Plan engages young learners in applied science, math, nutrition, language arts and the art of healthy eating. Age appropriate, research-based, fun filled activities encourage them to grow academically, physically, and spiritually strong. It's perfect for your little gardeners-to-be!
Olive Green ArrowEarthBox Distributors

 

Here's a list of Education Distributor websites to assist you in obtaining catalogs and getting more info about using the EarthBox system in your classroom.  

Carolina Biological
(Catalogs: Life Science, Environmental)

Escape Sports, Canada

Fisher Science Education
(Catalogs: Elementary, Middle School, High School, College Science)

Kaplan Early Learning


Kaplan K-5 Catalog


Nasco

(Catalogs: Elementary Math/Science, Summit, Science, Senior Activities)

 

S&S Worldwide

Sargent-Welch

Sargent-Welch, Canada 
 

Science Kit Catalog


Science Museum Gifts 

Spectrum Education Supplies (Nasco Canada)

(Catalog: Secondary Science)

 

Ward's Natural Science

Ward's of Canada

Olive Green ArrowJoin Our Community

EarthBox is on Facebook!  Now you can become a fan of EarthBox, joining a community of fellow EarthBox users for conversations, advice and photo sharing -- or just to check out whatever new information EarthBox has to enhance your gardening experience.

And don't forget to check out our videos! This is a members only feature, so if you're not already a Facebook member, you'll need to sign up to view the videos.
Olive Green ArrowOrdering 

To place an order, call 888-445-6295 (24/7) or visit our online store.
 

Educators, please mention the Source Code EDUDISC when ordering your EarthBox to be eligible for a free $50 EarthBox gift certificate! Winners will be selected from our customer base and announced in each issue of our newsletter.

Olive Green ArrowAbout EarthBox 

The patented EarthBox was developed by commercial farmers, and proven in the lab and on the farm. Our maintenance-free, award-winning, high-tech growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden -- with less fertilizer, less water and virtually no effort.

It's used successfully on a daily basis by commercial farmers, educators, and consumers. Distributors are also finding it to be a popular growing system.
 
EarthBox is a remarkably easy-to-set-up system that can be used to grow produce virtually anywhere. EarthBox systems have been incorporated into community gardens all over the world, enabling families and neighbors to share fresh produce, while minimizing work and expenses.

EarthBoxes can even be found in classrooms. Our EarthBox Pre-K through 12th grade standards-based curriculum support packages can bring science to life, with hands-on cross-curricula lessons that teach principles of growing and nutrition utilizing the scientific method in student-driven experiments.

To find out more, click
here.To request a catalog, call 888-917-3908.
EarthBox® 1350 Von Storch Avenue · Scranton, PA 18509 · 1-866-727-5532