Thanks to generous support from the College of Agricultural Sciences, college students have been filling Corvallis-area elementary schools with Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s Annual Literacy Project.

The project, in its ninth year, is designed to help elementary school students improve both their reading and agricultural literacy. Each year a new agriculturally-themed book is chosen and a lesson is developed that reinforces the message of the book. Then hundreds of enthusiastic, trained volunteers bring in-class presentations to classrooms throughout Oregon. This year 8 students in the College of Agricultural Sciences volunteered in local Corvallis-area schools reading the book and interacting with the students.

This year’s book is Before We Eat: From Farm to Table, describing the process and focusing on the people that is required to get our food from the farms to its final destination. The companion activity encourages students to think about agriculture careers and how everyone works together.

In addition to many student volunteers reading to local classrooms, hundreds of hours of volunteer hours are donated by university students to prepare the materials and assist in the logistics of the project. Most of these volunteers are Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority members. The numbers for this year are still being finalized but last year, over 18,000 students were read to in over 700 classrooms throughout the state. This year, the project is on-track to be the largest yet.

A very special thank you to the College of Agricultural Sciences, students and alumni that are a part of this important effort in agricultural literacy education! For more information about how you can get involved in this effort visit Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s website.

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The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation provides curriculum, resources and training to K-12 teachers. The program promotes using agriculture to teach science, math, history and nutrition across existing curriculum. Resources are standards-based and use an integrated, hands-on approach to learning. The program is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) foundation. The College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University provides office space.