DES MOINES, Iowa — Parents nationwide now have access to new ways to keep children learning and engaged during the coronavirus crisis, thanks to free materials developed in conjunction with the Pork Checkoff. With hundreds of thousands of adults and young people working and learning from home during the global pandemic, parents are looking for ways to keep their students occupied and informed.
“The coronavirus pandemic has presented significant challenges for many families,” said Angie Krieger, vice president of domestic marketing for the Pork Checkoff. “Parents are not only working from home, but they’re also being asked to fill the role of teacher. It can be hard for parents to fill this additional role, but America’s pig farmers are ready to help. We have a wealth of fun and educational resources parents can use to teach their children about food, nutrition, farming and the environment.”
Working with the award-winning curriculum
- Support healthy eating habits based on USDA MyPlate guidelines
- Build understanding of the nutritional profile of pork
- Explain how pork is an important protein source in global cuisines, and provide recipes that help families build cooking skills together
- Share the importance of sustainability in food choices and the environmental footprint of modern pig farming
“These resources come at a very relevant time when parents and teachers are looking for new ways to engage students,” said Dr. Dominic Kinsley, managing partner, and editor-in-chief at Young Minds Inspired. “All of our programs are reviewed by a blue-ribbon panel of active teachers, so parents can be assured that these materials are age-appropriate and consistent with content their children are normally exposed to in the classroom.”
The Pork Checkoff has worked with YMI since 2008 to develop and approve standards-based content for classroom use. Just as new materials were about to be shared with classroom teachers around the U.S. this spring, the coronavirus pandemic altered those plans. With minor adjustments, the content was modified to fit the needs of parents now looking for educational materials.
The content may be especially relevant to families, as retail pork sales have risen dramatically since mid-March. From mid-March to mid-April, retail sales of pork has increased 49%.
“Now that more people than ever have pork in their refrigerators and freezers, families can use these lesson plans to better understand where their food comes from, how it benefits their health and learn more about the sustainability of their food choices,” said Krieger. “The additional time I’ve had with my four daughters to have these discussions as we cook together has been enlightening for all of us.”
The lesson plans and activity information can be found at: http://ymiclassroom.com/
Young Minds Inspired is the nation’s leading provider of free educational outreach programs for learners of all ages.
Started in 1978, the YMI team, which is comprised of former educators, has created more than 2,000 programs for schools, daycare centers, youth programs, sports programs, summer camps, public libraries, community centers, senior centers, and religious institutions.
All YMI programs are free of charge to members of the YMI Educator Network, which includes more than 2 million teachers at every public, private, and parochial school in the United States as well as schools in Canada.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PORK BOARD
The National Pork Board has responsibility for Pork Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public. The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in consumer education and marketing, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, science and technology, swine health, pork safety, and environmental management and sustainability. For the past half-century, the U.S. pork industry has delivered on its commitment to sustainable production and has made significant strides in reducing the environmental impact of pig farming. Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold. Importers of pork products contribute a like amount, based on a formula. For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-7675 or visit www.pork.org.
— National Pork Board
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