ONEIDA CO., N.Y. — For over 15 years’ volunteers have been reading to elementary classrooms during Agriculture Literacy Week, March 15th-19th, teaching a hands-on STEM based activity focused on the importance of agriculture in our daily lives. This year’s book Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish (Tales of The Dairy Godmother) by Viola Butler and Art by Ward Jenkins uses vivid illustrations and humor to highlight the dairy industry.
New York Stare currently has over 4,000 dairy farms and ranks fourth nationally as the largest producer of milk, making dairy a vital industry to New York State’s economy.
Like most things this past year Ag Literacy Week has a new look with pre-recorded book readings and farm tours available for teachers to incorporate into their virtual classrooms. Anticipating that many students may be learning from home, individually packaged crafts and coloring books, donated from our local Oneida County Dairy Promotion, have been provided for 93 classrooms of over 1500 Oneida County students.
As our schools transition back to in-person instruction, this year’s hands-on activity is sure to be a hit with the students. Thanks to funding by New York State dairy farmers through the Dairy Promotion Order every classroom will be receiving the supplies to make individual servings of ice cream. A perfect way to celebrate the return to school.
If you would like to learn more about Ag Literacy curriculum you can visit https://ny.agclassroom.org/ . Thanks to a donation from the Oneida County Farm Bureau, Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish will soon be available in the Mid-York Library System for public check-out.
4-H is one of the largest youth serving organizations in the nation. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities available for youth or adult volunteers in Oneida County, please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County at 315-736-3394.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County
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