Last week we sent out micro-grant sheets to all of the students going off to site, and received over 40 back! This week we reviewed the applications and selected three sites to give micro-grants to. When reviewing the micro-grants, we look at the sustainability, efficiency, and how it will contribute to the site when making our decision. In past years we have given a brake-fast dog food bowl to an animal shelter, cultivating outdoor books to a classroom, and the Magic Tree House books to a classroom. From the freshman’s Holiday Market sales, they chose to donate some of their profits to the MAPS micro-grant fund, along with our Instagram Sale profits. Giving micro-grants is a good way to give back to our local community. 

Instagram Sale

The 3rd Annual Instagram Sale is already underway! Maps collaborated with Ms. Lee’s photo I class to seed through all of the wonderful submissions that we received. Today being our third and last day of the sale, Maps has been very successful! The proceeds of this sale will be given to other Horizons Sites through our microgrant program along with the proceeds made from The Holiday Market that the Freshmen ran during the Holiday Season in December.

The holiday season is fast approaching, which means Caroline and Mariah are working harder than ever. This week alone, they received sixty item proposals from the freshwomen to be sold during the holiday market. Now, they have the daunting task of narrowing the sixty they received down to the three that will be chosen and sold. To help narrow it down, they asked for specific details about the perspective products, including how many would they be able to make, what materials would they need to produce it, how long will it take them to produce one product, and how much should it cost? Some product ideas include homemade iPhone cases, dream catchers, charm necklaces, knit hats, rings, sugar scrubs and more! Stay tuned to find out what we’ll be selling in the final holiday market!


Photo from: http://www.thecreativesalad.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/20110131_crafts1.jpg

Name of Organization: Cricket Creek Farm


Location: Williamstown, MA


Mission: To produce nourishing food that honors our animals, respects the land, and feeds our community, and to exemplify a sustainable model for small-farm viability.


Website: http://cricketcreekfarm.com/the-farm-organism/


History: In 2001 the Phelps family had put Cricket Creek Farm up for sale, and the Sabot family, a family concerned about the protection and development for the largest farm in Williamstown, want to protect it. They then purchased the farm in 2002. After visiting many farms in the area, the Sabot family decided that they wanted to continue with dairy farming, cheese making and adding an educational component to the farm. They began to milk cows in the spring of 2004! They continued with their goal of making cheese and other dairy products on the farm, and they are still up and running today!



Name of Organization: Alchemy Initiative


Location: Pittsfield, MA


Mission: Through the exploration of sustainability and creativity, Alchemy Initiative enlivens, engages and educates the greater Berkshires, fostering a healthier community.


Website: http://alchemyinitiative.org/about/


History: It was founded in 2009, and for the first three years they operated in a local church in Pittsfield. Their first project was to plant a garden on an empty piece of land in Pittsfield. They wanted to make a positive visual and social impact on the neighborhood that it was in. They gathered numerous vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers and planted them in the garden. In 2012, they began to operate as a pop-up organization, creating programs and presenting different events across the Berkshires.



Name of Organization: Red Ants Pants


Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT


Mission: To develop and expand leadership roles for women, to preserve and support working family farms and ranches, and to enrich and promote rural communities.


Website: http://redantspants.com/our-story/


History: All her life, Sarah Calhoun always felt that there were no good options for women’s work clothing, and she especially felt the need for women’s work wear since she is so active! One day when she was reading her “How to Start A Business” book, the man who had started Patagonia stumbled upon her and had asked her what she was doing. She admitted that women need appropriate work clothes, and the man couldn’t agree more! He gave her a few contacts and bits of advice, and she was well on her way.

Zana Africa is a program in Kenya that provides sanitary pads for young women. Monthly, girls miss school due to the embarrassment brought upon by their period. Unlike in America, talking about issues involving periods is looked down upon, so girls are being alienated for something they have no power over. These girls inevitably miss so much school, due to the lack of sanitary supplies that they’ll eventually drop out of school. Yearly, thousands of girls miss out on an education. Naturally, as Miss Hall’s girls, we decided to pair up with Zana Africa and partake on this project. We have created a group called, Waza LADIEZ. Waza means“to believe” in Swahili, and LADIEZ is an acronym for Learning And Discussing Issues and Essentials with Zana. This group will converse with girls in the Zana Africa program about issues that teenage girls typically face. Ranging from talks about periods to cultural issues, we will act as allies to them. We have sought out group members from both the junior and the senior class.  We discussed the expectations and what being apart of the group will entail, and then we passed out applications to girls who were interested. Two weeks ago, we received a sufficient amount of applications and after much discussion about each and every girl who submitted, we picked a tremendous group of girls.

The keyword that continues to keep MAPS running is collaboration, so it seemed like a no brainer to bridge a gap between MAPS and the new students in the freshwomen class early in the year. Last week, Caroline, ‘14 and Meagan, ’14 met with three groups of the freshwomen during their Horizons time. The workshop, planned and run by Meagan and Caroline, was a huge success!

The first thing the freshwomen were assigned to do was to identify their unique role within a group. After choosing between The Organizer, The Benchwarmer, The Behind the Curtain Cutie, The Limelight Love, or The Silent Star, they discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each of the leadership styles and planned what they themselves need to work on. Then, after showing them a clip from the movie Mean Girls to bring their attention to what group dynamics can be like and to make them laugh, we gave them a challenge. We presented them with a mock history project that was due in only two days. In response to the challenge and within their groups (decided by their differing role titles) they had to 1) assign a group leader, 2) establish at least five steps they were going to take to get the mock project done, 3) designate a job for everyone to be responsible for, and 4) prepare to present their plan and how they each planned to challenge themselves.

After adapting the lesson to fit each group, the workshop went amazing. It was the first exposure the freshwomen had to MAPS and what MAPS does, and we also let them know the exciting plans ahead for them involving Arty Party and creating products for the holiday market in collaboration with MAPS. We look forward to our next workshop we get to do with the freshwomen in the spring!


Want to determine your own leadership role? Check out what Meagan and Caroline put together and see who you are!

The Organizer

This is a girl who: loves thinking ahead, sticky notes are her best friends, and she never leaves her room without her planner!

Things she needs to work on: Thinking on her feet, taking things as they come, delegating tasks to other people.


The Benchwarmer

This is a girl who: is not always motivated at the start but becomes excited as time goes on. She doesn’t have a designated role, but grows to help everyone.

Things she needs to work on: Becoming interested at the start, getting more self-motivated, and finding a way in which she can take charge.


The Behind the Curtain Cutie

This is a girl who: works hard and knows what she’s good at. Often times, she is not recognized for her superb work.

Things for her to work on: Speak up and let others know of her accomplishments and her skills.

Limelight Love

This is a girl who: is always first to speak up and take the reins. Often times taking charge of the situation, she is a natural born leader.

Things she needs to work on: Taking a step back and letting others get a taste of the limelight. Just because she is a natural born leader doesn’t mean she should overshadow other’s around her.


Silent Star

This is a girl who: is a great listener and observer who understands all sides. She feels more comfortable sitting back than stepping up.

Things she needs to work on: Take a chance, step up, and lead! Her voice is just as important as other’s and can be a vital part in the group’s dynamic.







Exciting news! MAPS will be bringing a Holiday Market to the MHS community this holiday season! We’ve decided to partner with the Ninth Grade and Arty Party to create little trinkets that will appeal to both the public and the student body. Arty Party is a school art association in which students use their various artistic talents to create their own line of products. On the 17th, we met with Ms. Kreischer and Ms. Rutledge, the heads of Arty Party and the greenhouse respectively, to discuss our Holiday Market. Together we all will be working with the ninth grade and MAPS to generate various crafts to sell throughout the holiday season. Along with crafts made by the Ninth grade and Arty Party, the market will sell small gifts that are perfect for quick presents. MAPS is also working with Zana Africa, to sell crafts from Kenya at our school, and then send the proceeds back. Zana Africa is an organization that creates new opportunities for women and girls to thrive.  We are thrilled to be working collaboratively with the Ninth grade, Arty Party, and Zana Africa. We hope that this is a highly successful program!