AITC Goes to Summer School

By Katie Aikins, Arizona Farm Bureau

Johnny Smallhouse, the youngest cattleman of the Smallhouse family, is seen here expanding his understanding of commodities by coloring red apples. Note not only the hat but his chip clip and pen in his pocket.

With the 2010-2011 school year coming to an end some might anticipate a slow summer for Arizona Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) Program. However, just the opposite is the reality. The success that the program has felt throughout the school year is carrying over into the summer. Here is a look at some of the upcoming summer events.

Summer School Programs Taking off this Year

Maricopa, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma County schools are taking full advantage of the free curriculum and materials provided by AITC. Thirty-six curriculum kits will be used by over 900 students this summer. AITC will also be visiting the Yuma Campus with local farmers to give the Build Your Burger, Oh Say Can you Seed, and the Many Hats of Farmer Jeremy presentations. AITC will be stepping into some new buildings this summer as it works with Tutor Time and La Petite Academy and their day camp programs.

Curriculum Gets a Facelift

Fraternal twins Brogan and Carter Schmidbauer are convinced they can do Clint Hickman’s job giving tours as they’re the first visitors to see a hen actually lay an egg. Farm tours continue to be a big part of Arizona Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program.

Curriculum Kits will be receiving a face-lift this summer as the Arizona State Standards are updated and the Common Core State Standards are introduced. AITC works hard to make sure that all curricula meet current standards to better assist teachers in their mission to educate. An elementary teacher has been contracted to complete these changes over the summer to assure accuracy and maintain classroom relevance.

While we might be a bit more familiar with the regular State Standards, Common Core State Standards is a new initiative to assure that all students no matter what region they reside in are getting the same education. For example, if a third-grade student moved from Texas to Arizona he should be able to pick right up with our state’s curriculum. This effort is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia committed to developing a common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12.

Additionally, the summer months will be spent updating the Misconceptions of Agriculture program to include new misconceptions and additional up-to-date facts. We’re designing for our volunteers to be able to go into the middle schools and high schools to give it. Anyone interested in training can call Katie Aikins at 480.635. 3608.

Arizona Farm Bureau’s AITC Starts Celebrating our State Centennial Early

A one-hour presentation highlighting Arizona’s Five Cs will be completed this summer. Beginning in August teachers can request the presentation that covers Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate; industries that were pivotal for Arizona’s economic development. Other Arizona commodities will also be covered during the interactive presentation. As always, the program is being offered free to teachers and schools.

Whew! It’s going to be a busy, exciting and rewarding summer. Join us as we educate and inform youth about Arizona agriculture. For any questions about scheduling remember to contact Katie Aikins at 480.635.3608.

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