Classroom grants awarded to support agriculture learning

Classroom grants awarded to support agriculture learning

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is providing 170 funding grants to schools in Iowa.

The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF) has awarded more than 170 grants to schools throughout Iowa to support the integration of agriculture into classroom instruction or after school programs with an academic focus. That announcement was made earlier this week by IALF.

AG IN THE CLASSROOM: Teaching the next generation of Iowans about the importance of agriculture is a key function of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. This year's grant projects focus on integrating agriculture into social studies and language arts curriculums," says IALF education program manager Cindy Hall.

The Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher Supplement Grants are designed to help teachers initiate new projects or expand existing projects that promote agriculture literacy in students. Grants can be used to help fund innovative lessons, activities, classroom resources, guest speakers, outreach programs, fieldtrips, and other projects. "This year's grant projects will focus on integrating agriculture into social studies and language arts curriculums," said IALF education program manager Cindy Hall.  "We hope these grants will allow teachers make real world connections to what they are already teaching."

Using agriculture to teach concepts related to other subjects
Some of the innovative applicants will be conducting classroom projects this spring including agriculture reading units, hydroponics, comparing historical and modern farming, poultry, dairy, bees and many more. Successful applicants will use agriculture as the vehicle to teach many of the concepts already taught in their classroom, like social studies and language arts.

One grant recipient, Lisa Tegels, commented, "The students and teachers are going to be so excited when they see the new materials we're able to add to our learning collection." The grants are a special project of IALF and made possible through support from the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  "We are very pleased to be able to provide this support to classrooms and teachers who are interested in teaching their students about agriculture and its importance to Iowa and the world," says IFBF director of community resources Barb Lykins. 

The projects will be completed before the end of the school year with final reports to be submitted by June 5, 2015. For more information visit www.iowaagliteracy.org.

About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation: IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa's students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of ag products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. 

IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos & Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.  For more information visit the IALF website, on Facebook, and Twitter.

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