Schedule of agriculture literacy reading events extended into fall

Virginia Agriculture in the ClassroomDue to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom is asking volunteers to read to students in the fall as part of its agriculture literacy initiative.

Each spring, the organization’s Agriculture Literacy Week provides an opportunity for volunteers to read to youth and help them draw connections between farming and their food supply. The observance takes place in March, but this year’s celebration was interrupted when schools closed and social distancing was implemented.

More than 1,000 volunteer readers typically share agriculture’s story with children, and Virginia AITC is encouraging them to reschedule reading sessions when schools reopen in the fall.

“We are essentially extending our agriculture literacy project to include back-to-school visits in September and Farm to School Month in October,” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager.

Volunteers are being asked to read on the following dates or sometime in October:

  • 6: National Read a Book Day.
  • 13: National Peanut Day.
  • 17: National Teach Agriculture Day.

Before the pandemic, Virginia AITC was on track for a record-setting year with more than 2,500 books distributed across the state for volunteers to read to students. This year’s AITC Book of the Year is PB&J Hooray by Janet Nolan, which traces the paths of grapes, peanuts and wheat as they make their way from the field to a lunchtime favorite.

Volunteer readers traditionally partner with schools and libraries in their communities. In instances where fall reading sessions are not an option, the organization encourages volunteers to donate books to schools, libraries, daycare centers, before- and after-school programs and community centers.

Virginia AITC also has online educational resources and virtual learning opportunities available for teachers, students, parents and volunteers to help children learn about agriculture while schools are closed. Visit agclassroom.org/va or the organization’s Facebook page at facebook.com/VirginiaAgintheClassroom.


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