AG IN THE CLASSROOM
Agriculture in the Classroom is a free, educational program designed for 3-6th grade students in Peoria County. Rooted in Science, our 30 minute lessons are IL Standards-Based and offer exposure to America’s food and fiber system.
Gearing Up for an Incredible Year of Ag in the Classroom
By Jennifer Glover
September 2019 has arrived and the students are back in the classroom. Our Ag in the Classroom summer intern, Skylar Kellstadt, spent the past few months preparing PowerPoint slides and resources for our 2019/2020 topics for us to share with our students and teachers this school year. The past month your ATIC coordinator has been preparing interactive lessons for the topics and finalizing classroom schedules with our dedicated Peoria County teachers. Our Ag in the Classroom team is ready and anxious to begin the year engaging our students about the wonderful world of Agriculture
Our program is growing and we are always looking for volunteers to help in our efforts to teach Peoria County students about the largest Industry in Illinois - Agriculture. We are excited to announce that our team has grown over the summer as well. We would like to welcome Donald Kennedy to our team this year. Donald and his wife Jackie reside in Dunlap. Donald is a retired pastor who has faithfully served churches in Mississippi, Illinois and Kentucky over the past 39 years of his career. Recently, Donald and Jackie decided to move closer to family here in Central Illinois. He was interested in continuing to be active in his community and looking for an opportunity to be a positive role model to the younger generation. Donald has teaching experience and a passion to serve. Thank you Donald for your continued dedication to serve our community.
In addition, as the new year starts, we have a new line up of seven interactive, science-based lessons for our students and teachers. The 30-minute lessons include information about the monthly topic and a hands-on activity that the students will complete. Each month we include additional information on the topics for the teachers, students and parents by providing more free resources that can be sent home or kept in the classroom for later use. A complete list of the seven topics being presented on this school year is listed below. This month we are kicking off the school year with our state insect, the Monarch Butterfly. Pollinators are vital creatures in the production of our food. The monarch butterfly has greatly diminished in numbers (90% decrease in the last 20 years). One of the reasons for the decrease is due to the lack of adequate habitats for the monarch butterflies. This lesson will provide facts about the monarch butterfly, give details about the monarch butterflies’ annual cycle and migration pattern, and identify the native plants to Illinois (milkweed and important nectar plants) that are vital for the monarch butterfly. We will discuss what schools and students can do to help provide natural habitats for these beautiful pollinators. Students will create a seed bomb that they can plant in their backyards or on the school grounds that will provide important habitat for the butterflies.
Please search for us on Facebook @AITC PeoriaCounty to stay up to date with the program throughout the year. If you would like to get involved with the Peoria County Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom program as a volunteer or have the program come to your school please contact the AITC coordinator, Jennifer Glover, at email@example.com.