RICHMOND, Va. — Jennifer Massengill, a science and technology teacher at Hampton Roads Academy in Newport News, Va., is one of eight 2018 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award recipients.
The awards recognize innovative efforts by teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade to use agricultural concepts when teaching core curricula. They are presented by the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit.
“These teachers are examples of how using agricultural concepts in the classroom can successfully deliver important reading, writing, math, science and social studies lessons to students,” said Dr. Victoria LeBeaux, National Agriculture in the Classroom program leader for the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “The real-life connections teachers make by using items students use every day resonates with them.”
Massengill, who teaches science and technology to students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade, uses a school garden as the subject for a schoolwide blog group, as a resource for an afternoon garden club and a morning cooking class, and as a means of teaching plant germination, nutrition and genetics.
She was named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom Teacher of the Year earlier in 2018.
“We could not be prouder of Jennifer’s work to connect children and agriculture, which is Virginia’s and the nation’s largest industry,” said Tammy Maxey, senior education manager for Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom. “She is among the commonwealth’s educators who are most committed to helping students understand how agriculture touches their lives — and everyone’s life — every day.”
In June, Massengill and the other seven national honorees will be recognized at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine.
NAITCO is a nonprofit organization representing Agriculture in the Classroom programs in most of the 50 states.
Agriculture in the Classroom is a national program that promotes greater understanding of agriculture through education. The Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization that receives financial and administrative support from Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.
— Virginia Farm Bureau Federation