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In this Issue:

  • We Have a New Website!
  • Most Viewed Lessons from 2023
  • 2024 National Conference Scholarships
  • Sign Up TODAY for the Pueblo Chile Literacy Project
  • We Made the News!
  • Matrix Featured Lessons for January
  • Save the Date - 2024 Summer AgriCULTURE Institutes
  • Fill the Apple
  • Play Journey 2050 - More career and avatar options!
  • Thank You Sponsors!

We Have a New Website!

The Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom directors, advisors, committees, and staff accomplished many goals during 2023. One of those was to improve our branding and create a new website. We are excited to announce the launch of our new site:

Many may have noticed the switch to the CoAgClassroom domain and social media handles over the past few months. We are retiring GrowingYourFuture, which has been our domain since the beginning of the internet. We felt the multiple names (Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom, Colorado Foundation for Agriculture, and Growing Your Future) could be confusing. We wanted to focus on the true purpose of our organization - advancing agricultural literacy in preK-12 education through the Agriculture in the Classroom program.

We invite you to explore the new site and hope you find all our programs and resources easier to access.

Thanks to the National Center for Agricultural Literacy, part of the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, for making the vision of our new site come to life!

Most-Viewed Lessons from 2023

Do you use our Curriculum Matrix? Or maybe you want to, but find it a little intimidating to get started? We got you!

Check out the most-view lesson plans for 2023. These lists are a great way to get started using the Curriculum Matrix. Plus, let these lists serve as inspiration for new ideas to incorporate agriculture and natural resource topics into your classroom.

Early Elementary (Grades K-2)

Upper Elementary (Grades 3-5)

Middle School (Grades 6-8)

High School (Grades 9-12)

Also, be sure to check out all the happenings at the Ag Classroom Store on their Facebook page (@AgClassroomStore at USU) including free mind-blowing giveaways, unbeatable, BASIC Agricultural Literacy Kits, and ideas for connecting agriculture to your classroom! Plus, you can check out their list of the most ordered kits in 2023.

2024 National Conference Scholarships

The 2024 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference will take place June 24-27 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This multi-day event features keynote speakers, break-out sessions, traveling workshops, a pre-conference tour, and so much more! Attendees will be inspired with ideas and resources on how to incorporate agriculture into your classrooms!

Want to attend?

We encourage you to apply for a 2024 NAITCO Conference Scholarship. This year's scholarships (valued at $1300) will provide one Early Bird Registration and up to four nights of lodging at the conference location. These scholarships are available due to the generosity of these sponsors: CHS Foundation, Culver's, Mosaic, and Nutrien.

Scholarship Qualifications:

  • State-certified PreK-12th grade classroom teacher
  • Currently employed by a public or private school
  • Plan to teach during the 2024-2025 school year

Multiple scholarship options are available - all in one convenient application. There's also a special scholarship for Colorado educators who use the Journey 2050 program. The scholarship application can be found here. Applications close Feb. 15, 2024!

**Let's Go to Salt Lake! Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom would love to see a strong representation from Colorado and is considering providing transportation (coach bus or carpool) to the 2024 NAITC Conference. If interested, please complete this form to help us plan. The NAITC Conference is open to ALL EDUCATORS (formal, informal, preservice, retired) and VOLUNTEERS!

Seed, Sprout, Spice! - Sign Up for the 2024 Literacy Project

The Colorado Literacy Project is a way to bring agriculture into the classroom while reinforcing reading comprehension and other academic standards. A new topic and book, featuring real-life Colorado agriculture stories, are chosen each year. This is a FREE program for preK-5th grade classes. This is a read-aloud book program with supplementary student activities. Teachers may complete this program on their own with their students. Or they may request a farmer or rancher for an in-person or virtual guest reader classroom visit experience.

TEACHERS - If you'd like to sign up for this project, please do so right away! That will give us an accurate count for supply purchases and fundraising. We want to reach as many classes as we can.

Teachers - Sign Up Today!

Featuring the Pueblo Chile! Each FREE classroom kit includes:

  • One copy of "Seed, Sprout, Spice! All About Pueblo Chiles" for the class to keep
  • A 1-pound bag of frozen Pueblo Chiles with sample cups for students to taste
  • Supplies for each student to start their own Pueblo Chile plant from a seed
  • Virtual field trip with History Colorado
  • 8 corresponding student activities meeting standards for Literacy, Science, Comprehensive Health, Math, Social Studies, and Visual Arts
  • Instructional guide for teachers and volunteers

Supplies are limited. Boxes start shipping next week.

Volunteers are needed to visit classrooms. If you'd like to help with the volunteer guest speaker experience for the Literacy Project, complete this CoAITC Volunteer Form.

More support is needed to bring this program to 1,000 classes - doubling the reach from previous years! We have reached the maximum limit of classes current funding will support. The cost of this program is about $52 per class. Make a tax deductible gift today to ensure all classes that want to participate are able to (we would hate to have to turn away classes).

Questions can be directed to Cyndi Hofmeister, CoAITC Education Program Coordinator. 

We Made the News!

The Colorado Literacy Project featuring Pueblo chiles is going viral with media coverage across the state. We thank all the networks and outlets who have shared our story! Also thanks to our agriculture industry partners who have promoted this project to their stakeholders. Here are links of the media coverage that we know of, as of today.

If you've seen additional media coverage, please share with us! Our original media release, A particularly Pueblo project, may be found here. Contact Jennifer Scharpe, CoAITC executive director at 720-788-3224.

Search the Matrix for more lesson plans and resources!

Matrix Featured Lessons

Check out these lesson plans and resources from the Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix.

1. All Kinds of Farms (K-2)

2. Bunches of Berries (3-5)

3. Introducing the Nutrition Facts Label (6-8)

4. The Big Deal About Big Ag (9-12)

5. Snow Comes to the Farm (Book)

6. Berries Flowchart (Store Kit)

SAVE THE DATE - 2024 Summer AgriCULTURE Institutes

The Summer AgriCULTURE Institutes (SAIs) are professional development courses for educators. Attendees learn about Colorado agriculture; tour farms, ranches, and production facilities; and gain innovative, standards-based ways to incorporate food, fiber, fuel, and natural resource topics into academic curricula!

Join us for these 2024 Summer AgriCULTURE Institute courses:

  • SAI Fort Morgan: July 8-12
  • SAI San Luis Valley: July 16-18

Registrations will open soon!

#FillThe Apple!

We're getting closer to having a full apple in our #FillThe Apple fundraising campaign for the 2023-2024 school year. Thank you to all who have contributed so far. Join this year's list of sponsors by sending in your annual contribution today! Or visit our new website to see all the ways you can get involved.

Annually, Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom (CoAITC) reaches 325,000 students, teachers, individuals, and families across the state in urban, suburban, and rural communities. We do this through:

  • Printed and electronic resources
  • In-person and virtual student presentations
  • Teacher professional development
  • Public events
  • Multiple communications and outreach efforts

Through partnerships from community stakeholders and funding from corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals, all CoAITC programs and resources are provided for free or at minimal cost. The work we do would not be possible without our generous sponsors. You help make a difference for students and educators across Colorado!

Donate to Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom Today!

Thank You Sponsors!

Listed below are sponsors at the Champion of Education and Honor Roll levels for the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

A listing of all 2022-2023 sponsors can be found here.

Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom | 970-818-3308 |

10343 Federal Blvd Unit J Box 224, Westminster, CO 80260