March marks Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month
By Fruit and Vegetable
The month encourages K-12 students to learn about Canada’s agriculture industry, including reading books, hands-on agricultural activities, and meeting with farmers and others in the agriculture industry.
By Fruit and Vegetable
Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC-C), an organization promoting agriculture literacy in schools, along with its nine provincial member organizations launched the ninth annual Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month in March.
Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) encouraged students from kindergarten to grade 12 across the 10 provinces to learn about Canada’s agriculture industry. It encourages K-12 students to learn about Canada’s agriculture and food story, including reading books, hands-on agricultural activities, and meeting with farmers and others in the agriculture industry.
AITC-C organizations are on track to reach approximately 70,000 students in more than 2000 classrooms from coast to coast.
“AITC-C is incredibly excited and proud to be presenting CALM for the ninth consecutive year,” said Johanne Ross, AITC-C executive director, in a released statement. “The ongoing growth and success of this remarkable initiative is in large part thanks to the incredible passion that is shared in classrooms across this country by our provincial members and the amazing volunteers who make their stories come to life for each student and teacher they meet.”
In Ontario, AgScape, the partnering provincial organization to AITC-C, will be offering a line-up of hands-on, educational initiatives throughout March, including:
- Hosting thinkAG Career Competitions, which are events that introduce students to the diverse career opportunities in the agri-food sector.
- AgScape Teacher Ambassadors will be visiting classrooms to deliver lessons on agriculture and food, which are led by trained Ontario Certified Teachers and offered free of charge to Ontario educators.
- AgScape is running an essay contest to invite Ontario students in Grades seven to 12 to submit a written or video essay in English or French based on the topic: “Food Literacy -What’s On Your Plate?” The essay contest deadline is April 5, 2020.
- Providing educators with free CALM resource packages containing curriculum-linked lesson plans and materials including the launch of a new resource: An Overview of Aquaculture in Ontario, which has been developed through a partnership with the Ontario Aquaculture Association (OAA).
Each provincial organization is running their own events to celebrate CALM, and more information can be found by clicking each province’s AITC-C organization.
For example, B.C.’s Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is partnering with FoodShare and other organizations across Canada to bring B.C. schools to participate in The Great Big Crunch on March 5. The Great Big Crunch is an annual Canadian moment of “anti-silence” where participants come together and bite into crunchy fresh local produce in unison. “The symphony is loud as hundreds of thousands of people munch on apples, carrots, or other crunchy produce and celebrate healthy snacking!” according to the online description of The Great Big Crunch. The activity aims to promote agriculture awareness and highlight the availability of fresh fruits or vegetable as the centrepiece for activities related to cooking, nutrition, growing, compositing, sustainability, community, development, and more.