Macoupin County Ag Literacy Newsletter
Agricultural Literacy News
In This Issue
New Posters Available
Apple, pumpkin, and pollinator posters are now available to enhance your lessons. They are available in two sizes - large 24x36 and medium 18x24. To request your free poster, please email Connie at email@example.com. Get them while they last.
$250-300 Available for Resources
Looking for funds to supplement your established teaching units or provide more books for your classroom or library? Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom has 5 grants available which are due by October 1.
Last year Julie Heyen from Mt. Olive Elementary won a book grant for her classroom! Here is what Julie shared, "I received the books Hungry Planet, What the World Eats, and What I Eat from my grant. The books were used as part of my spring agriculture unit. Students researched past, present, and potential future agricultural practices. They then compared these practices to the food need/demand of the world. This year the unit will be expanded to include the demand for non-food agricultural products."
Julie added "AITC grants are easy to complete and have simple follow-up requirements. I encourage all teachers to apply for these grants." We have had other project grant and book grant winners from our area in the past too.
Preschool-High School teachers are eligible for $300 project grants to purchase classroom resources. You choose the project and non-consumable materials for classroom use integrating agriculture into a variety of curriculum areas.
In addition, four book themed grants valued up to $250 are available. Teachers choose from a preselected list of books in the quantities of their choice.
Dr. Seuss Books offers Oh Say Can You Seed?; Oh the Things They Invented; I Can Name 50 Trees Today!; My, Oh My - a Butterfly; On Beyond Bugs.
Pollinators Books offers My, Oh My-a Butterfly; When the Bees Fly Home, Flight of the Honey Bee, The Honey Makers, and Monarch Butterflies.
Wheat Books offers The Thing About Luck; Seed, Soil, Sun; Farmer George Plants a Nation; The Last Great Adventure of the PB & J Society.
Soil & Water Books offers Diary of a Worm; Did a Dinosaur Drink this Water; National Geographic Kids: Water; Jump into Science: Dirt.; Water.
More details, applications, judging criteria and sample applications are available at www.agintheclassroom.org.
Educator Agventure Summer Agricultural Institute Special Topic
Eleven educators from Calhoun, Christian, Macoupin, and Montgomery counties explored more about agriculture during the Summer Agricultural Institute conducted by the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program June 12-15. Throughout the four-day institute, educators learned more about various aspects of agriculture through traveling workshops, guest presenters, and hands-on activities.
Traveling workshops included Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis Science Center GROW Exhibit, Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Greenville Livestock Auction, Villa Rosa, Inc., Brad & Betsy Meisenheimer's farm, and Vixen Hill Winery.
Presenters included Mary Ellen Raymond - Beekeeper, Laura Vollmer from IL Agriculture in the Classroom, and Connie Niemann from the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program.
Educators tried hands-on multidisciplinary activities all correlated to the learning standards. They received innovative, classroom ready materials and learned about project grants available. Educators were able to earn 28 professional development hours or two graduate credit hours for the course.
Here are some comments from the educators: "Agriculture is in everything we do in our daily life and I would like to bring that message back to my classroom." Another teacher commented, "I will be incorporating several of the stories that I heard and lessons I learned this week into my classroom and definitely be an Ag advocate from now on." Some shared how impressed they were with the innovations they saw in the ever-changing agriculture industry. One educator shared, "This has to be one of the best professional development experiences I can ever remember." Participants wrote how they plan to use what they learned and were excited to share their experience with students and coworkers.
The following educators attended the institute: Jamie Harrison – Hillsboro Jr. High; Erin Huff - Waverly Elementary; Karen Kinder, Becky Lorts, Brenda Paynic, and Maureen Tepen – St. Mary School in Brussels; Sharon Peabody and Cathy Schaeffer – St. Mary School in Taylorville; Lumanda Reese and Adam Schulte – Mt. Olive Elementary; and Jennie Satterlee – Thompsonville High School.
This program and all the resources are made possible by local sponsors. We appreciate the support of these sponsors, our traveling workshop sites, and presenters that helped make this institute a success.
Summer Workshop Highlights
Area educators participated in three other professional development opportunities this summer conducted by the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program. Educators earned up to 11 hours and received engaging curriculums and resources to take back to their schools.
Seven educators spent the day exploring many aspects of water through Project WET on June 28. Besides trying many hands-on activities, participants toured the Otter Lake Water Treatment Facility with Bob Dill and Jeff Stanley. Project WET participants included Seth Alexander - Brussels Elementary; Becky Lorts, Karen Kinder, Denise Rose, and Melissa Stephens - St. Mary School Brussels; Jennie Satterlee - Thompsonville High School; and Christine Schumann - Pleasant Hill Elementary. To learn more about Project WET, please visit http://projectwet.org.
Growing Up WILD and Project Learning Tree Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood workshops were held on June 29. Participants trying out the hands-on activities and receiving resources included Cindy Adcock, Stacy Duba, and Andi Evans - St. John's Preschool in Carrollton; Nadia Kahl - Carlinville; Karen Kinder and Denise Rose - St. Mary School in Brussels; and Linsey Knes - Madison Park in Litchfield. To learn more about these projects, please visit www.eeai.net.
Prairie Farms Caps - Please Save
The Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program continues to collect Prairie Farms caps to support Agriculture in the Classroom efforts. Thank you to all who have helped us collect more than 1,600 caps so far.
How can you help? Save specially marked Prairie Farms caps. Then enter the code under the cap logo online or save your caps to give to Connie when she visits your school. The code under the cap logo donates 5 cents to the Macoupin County Agricultural Education Foundation which provides the agricultural resources and classroom programs in your school. Please contact Connie with any questions.
Resources in Your School & Public Libraries
Celebrate Agriculture - Read About It! Since 2002, the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program in cooperation with program sponsors has donated books, videos, DVDs, and curricular resources to school and public libraries across the county. As a result, people of all ages have many accurate, appealing, agriculture-focused resources from which to learn more about this amazing and critical industry.
Don't let these resources go unused - check them out today! A list of all the donated resources is available under downloads at web.extension.illinois.edu/cjmm/macoupinaglit
Agricultural Resource Library Open
Want to explore the agricultural resources available? Come visit our resource library in the Farm Bureau building located at 220 N. Broad, Carlinville.
Dig into the hands-on learning kits to see the lessons, materials, and other resources. Browse through the many books, Ag Mags, and curricular resources. Try hands-on make and take activities and take back free materials to use in your classroom.
The library is accessible Monday - Friday 8am-4:30pm. If you would like to arrange a time when the agricultural literacy coordinator is available, please contact Connie at (217)854-9604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.