JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s STORY (Science, Technology Opportunities for Rural Youth) Program, in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture, recently participated in a statewide program known as Ag Literacy week. Despite setbacks, changes, and logistical complications, CCE Chautauqua was able to provide 19 local schools with agricultural curriculum as part of Ag Literacy week.
Nineteen Chautauqua county schools and approximately 2500 students participated in NYS Agricultural Literacy Week. This year’s book –Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) – written by Viola Butler, highlighted one of Chautauqua County’s largest agricultural industries – dairy. Through the story, students learned the health benefits of dairy, the connection to farms and through a hands-on activity on how to make homemade ice cream.
Amidst the continuing pandemic, and the restrictions it encompasses, this year’s program was a bit different in some schools. Instead of in-person Agribusiness volunteers reading to local youth, many of them heard the story from a direct recording from the NYS Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball. Programming also included virtual farm tours and videos to connect Chautauqua county youth to the local dairy industry.
The STORY program has been providing programming for Chautauqua County throughout the Covid19 pandemic. Both virtual and in-person programming has introduced youth to “Out of this world” topics, including an Exploration Mars class and an in-person vermicomposting class. 4-H youth educator Molly Brown was able to deliver an 8-week, in-person STEM program at Samuel G. Love Elementary School, teaching youth about agriculture, conservation, and color theory. Additional STEM programming this summer will include partnerships with JCC Kids College, The Chautauqua Institution, Clymer Central School’s summer program, and the 4-H Leaf Jr. program.
To learn more about the 4-H youth development programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/Chautauqua or call 716-664-9502, Ext. 214.
The STORY Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between county, state, and federal governments. As New York’s land grant university, Cornell administers this system in New York. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer governed by an elected Board of Directors, with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
–Molly R. Brown, 4-H Educator
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County
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