Students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade will learn their reading, writing, math, science and social studies lessons through agricultural-related activities thanks to 15, $500 grants awarded by the CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO).
The fifteen projects selected for funding include a high tech initiative that will allow students in a North Carolina county to learn how drones help farmers better manage their businesses; a smoothie project in Western New York where students will buy ingredients from local farmers to provide a nutritious snack to the entire student body; and a garden project at an Ohio high school where students will grow fresh organic produce and test the possibility of growing plants in space, among other projects. These projects were selected for funding from 47 grant applications submitted.
“The funding provided by the CHS Foundation allows educators to take concepts of agriculture and create first-hand, impactful experiences, giving students lifelong knowledge and skills” said Tammy Maxey, president of NAITCO and programs director of Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom. “Creative ideas are able to take flight, teaching youth where their food, fiber and fuel comes from in a meaningful way with the help of these grant awards.
“The CHS Foundation is dedicated to supporting educators and students of all ages,” said Nanci Lilja, CHS Foundation president. “These Classroom Grant projects allow students to explore agriculture through a variety of concepts and experiences, seeing firsthand all agriculture encompasses.”
- Florida (Palm Coast) – Flagler Palm Coast High School’s Does the Establishment of a Community Garden Lead to a Better Understanding of the Importance of Agriculture and Pollinators? will help students in grades 9-12 better understand the importance of agriculture and pollinators through hands-on learning experiences taking place in a community garden.
- Iowa (Osceola) – Clarke Community Elementary’s Elementary Ag Club Hydroponics project will provide students in grades PreK-5 the opportunity to grow plants, understand how to make healthy food choices and give back to the community.
- Illinois (Altamont) – Altamont Lutheran School’s "Moo! Oink! Grow!” will educate students in grades 3-5 about agriculture commodities, specifically dairy, pork, and other commodities to better understand the industry as a whole and their food sources.
- Indiana (Columbus) – Columbus Signature Academy (CSA) New Tech’s Fall Feast project will continue the practice of high school students planting, harvesting, and maintaining a school garden, and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the local and global food chain.
- Kentucky (Cecilia) – West Hardin Middle School’s Grow an Understanding of Agriculture project will expose students to the agriculture industry firsthand through the utilization of a hydroponics garden and career-focused activities.
- Kentucky (Columbia) – Adair County Middle School’s Year Round Indoor Gardening will allow students to grow food every season with an indoor garden and explore the issue of food security.
- Massachusetts (Worcester) – Woodard Day School’s Community Teaching Garden Literacy Project will provide students and the local community to learn about water, food security, and land use issues by creating an educational garden space and curriculum to be shared.
- North Carolina (Elizabethtown) – Bladen County Schools’ Changing the Perspective: Farms from Above project will allow students to explore the use of drones in agriculture and learn how this technology and other geographic tools help agriculturalists better manage crops, livestock, and land use.
- North Carolina (New Bern) – Oaks Road Academy’s Composting for Better Soil and a Better Day will offer students in grades K-5 experiences to understand the composition of soil firsthand, and the value of composting and local ecosystems.
- New Hampshire (Penacook) – Merrimack Valley Middle School’s Cultivating Roots: An Introduction to Hydroponics project will introduce students in grades 6-8 to modern growing practices and food systems with the use of hydroponics.
- New York (Tonawanda) – Thomas A. Edison Elementary School’s Sensational Smoothies project is a school-wide program where students buy ingredients from Western New York farmers to make nutritious smoothies for their classmates.
- Ohio (Lakewood) – St. Edward High School’s “Out of this World” Interdisciplinary Learning Garden will allow students to plant and cultivate an organic urban garden and explore growing food on another planet.
- Tennessee (Fall Branch) – Fall Branch Elementary School’s Kinder Cardinal’s STEAM Garden will provide students in grades Pre-K-2 an opportunity to grow fresh produce and develop a better understanding of the source of the food they buy from the store.
- Utah (Saratoga Springs) – Lakeview Academy’s Plants and Biotechnology will provide students an in-depth look at plants and biotechnology through a variety of hands-on activities and experiments.
- Virginia (Warsaw) – Rappahannock High School’s Hydroponics Project Based Learning will allow students in grades 9-12 to learn about a variety of farming techniques, grow fresh food with a hydroponics system, and explore the issue of food insecurity.
NAITCO is a non-profit organization made up of Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) programs in 50 states including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to educate teachers and students in grades Pre-K-12 about the importance of agriculture by incorporating agricultural concepts into classroom instruction. To learn more about NAITCO, please visit www.agclassroom.org.
The CHS Foundation is funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains, and foods company. The CHS Foundation is focused on developing a new generation of agriculture leaders. It is achieving its goals through these strategic initiatives: advancing innovation in cooperative education, cultivating opportunity through university partnerships, growing high-impact youth leadership programs and accelerating potential for careers in agriculture. Together with its signature partners, it develops agriculture leaders for life. For more information, please visit www.chsfoundation.org.