New York Agriculture in the Classroom | November 2017
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Important Dates:

Nov. 3- Farm-to-School Grants Program Proposals Due

Nov. 11- Annie's Grants for Gardens Application Due

Nov. 15- Teacher of the Year Applications Due

Nov. 15- NYS Agricultural Society Scholarship Applications Due

Dec. 8- Grow with Us Grant Applications Due

Dec. 8- NCYGS Session Proposals Due

Jan. 12- Top Cut Beef Contest Submissions Due

Grow with Us Grant: Sprouting Inspiration

New York Agriculture in the Classroom is offering an unprecedented grant for New York Schools to earn plant grow systems to engage students in learning through food and eating healthy foods year-round. 

The  Grow with Us Grant allows schools to apply for four different types of grow systems. Schools should apply for the grow system that would best meet their educational goals, classroom space needs, and consider their experience level in school gardening and curriculum integration. 

New York Agriculture in the Classroom aspires to provide teachers the vehicle and tools to facilitate experiential-learning opportunities using agriculture as the context for learning by investing $50,000 in this new grant program.

Applications are open now and due Friday, December 8th. Visit our website  to learn more about the eligibility requirements, view photos of the featured grow systems, and apply for the grant.

NYAITC Teacher of the Year Application Deadline Approaching

Nominate yourself or an amazing educator who integrates agriculture regularly in their curriculum. This top honor is awarded each year to a teacher, or a team of teachers, who are committed to ensuring that their students are agriculturally literate. 

The winning nomination will earn an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine. All nominations are due Wednesday, November 15, 2017.   Visit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom  website  for the more information and to read about the past winners.  Complete an application   today!

dairy cows Adopt a Cow Program

Ever considered a class pet, but don't have the space for it? What about a cow? With the Discover Dairy program, you can "Adopt a Cow" for a year-long experience for your students to discover where their food comes from. When you sign up for the program you will receive an introductory kit and detail about your particular cow including her birthday, her name, and how the farmer takes care of her. You will then get regular updates with pictures and stories your class can follow along with and respond to with questions. 

Registration ends November 1st, so check it out now!

National Children &  Youth Garden Symposium   Call for Session Proposal

The American Horticultural Society is pleased to announce its 26th annual  National Children & Youth Garden Symposium. The 2018 event will take place July 11-14 in Ithaca, New York, hosted by Cornell University's  Garden-Based Learning and  Cooperative Extension.  At the core of the symposium are peer-led educational sessions that focus on relevant, thought-provoking topics, provide attendees with practical knowledge and skills, and appeal to attendees representing a variety of experience levels, educational settings, and youth audiences. 

Now's your chance to share your expertise with garden educators by presenting a session! Sessions must demonstrate a relevance to garden education, but can cover a wide array to topics - from gardening for wildlife to working with at-risk populations to writing grants and engaging community partners.  Session presenters receive a discounted registration rate to attend the symposium. If interested,  submit your session proposal online  by December 8, 2017.

Farm-to-School Grants Program

Associations between farms and schools through the cafeteria and classroom can enhance the quality of food served. Where increases in childhood obesity rates are presenting challenges to communities, a statewide Farm to School Implementation Grant Program may offer a solution to improve the nutritional quality of the meals consumed by students in schools through a competitive grant process that awards funding to select schools for farm to school projects. 

The farm to school projects are intended to improve the school's ability to procure and/or process New York grown farm products which will not only improve school nutrition, but also increase children's exposure to and consumption of NYS fruit and vegetables which will ultimately increase awareness of and demand for NYS farm products.

One million dollars is available for this round of funding. All proposals are due on Friday, November 3rd. More information and the application can be found on the Grants Gateway
Garden Grant Opportunity from Annie's Homegrown

Annie's Homegrown offers grants to school gardens for educational programs that connect children directly to gardening. The school garden must be an edible school garden (growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, etc) and be located in the USA. Schools can purchase any equipment appropriate for the garden with the grant funds, such as plants, seeds, raised beds, fencing, wheelbarrows, greenhouses, and drip irrigation systems. 

The maximum grant amount is $5,000 and more information can be found on the Annie's website

Teacher Resources
Three Sisters Garden
Investigate the "three sisters" crops (corn, beans, and squash) and explore the benefit to planting these crops together in this lesson plan . Native American legends and plant growth will be explored and this flexible lesson includes options for use in a school garden, a container garden, and a garden in a glove.  
The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner
In this lesson students will identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Recommended for grades 6-8, this lesson will show students that there's more to Thanksgiving than getting a big feast from the grocery store. 
Wheat Weaving: How to Make a Corn Dolly
Students will learn about the history of weaving with straw and make their own woven wheat ornaments, traditionally known as "corn dollies." The art of weaving with wheat stems (straw) is practically as old as wheat itself. Traditionally, corn dollies were made using the last stems of harvested grain. Wheat was most common, but oats, rye, barley, and corn were also used. The woven ornaments with the heads of grain still on the stem were hung on inside walls where they made it safely through the winter. With this activity, your students can learn about history in a hands-on  approach. 
Cooking Right: The Science of Cooking a Hamburger
Through a series of 4 Labs, students will explore the 4 Cs of Food Safety: clean, cook, chill, and combat cross-contamination (separate.) Hamburger is used for the labs, as it is a food that students are familiar with and may be cooking at home. Lab 4 is a review and summary of what the students have learned about the 4 Cs and encourages them to apply these principles to their everyday life. 

Pairing this lesson with our Top Cut: A Beef Contest is a perfect companion. Registration for the contest is now closed on our website, but you can use the contest format in your classroom anytime. 
November Book Nook
Sophie's Squash
On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents' gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes.... What's a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?

Find more about this book by author Pat Zietlow Miller here
Time for Cranberries
From the cranberry bog to the Thanksgiving table, join Sam and his family as they harvest a classic American fruit. When the vines hang heavy with berries that the autumn winds have turned deep red, it's time for cranberries, and Sam is finally old enough to help with the harvest! This charming, lyrical picture book follows Sam and his family as they raise the water in the bog, pick the cranberries, and gather the fruit for processing. It's a story of modern family farming in action, showing readers where their food comes from but mostly delighting them along the way. This book  is a great companion to lessons on farming, harvesting, use of machines, Thanksgiving, or cranberries.
Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians
Popcorn, corn on the cob, cornbread, tacos, tamales, and tortillas-all of these and many other good things come from one amazing plant. With simple prose and beautiful illustrations, award-winning author-illustrator Aliki tells the story of how Native American farmers thousands of years ago found and nourished a wild grass plant and made corn an important part of their lives. This story is a simple description of how corn was discovered and used by Native Americans and how it came to be an important food throughout the world.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom |
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