GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Use your imagination to hop aboard ‘Ole Red’ and ‘Bobby Boat’ for a tour of Florida’s aquaculture and seafood industries, part of the 14th annual Florida Agriculture Literacy Day on Tuesday, May 2.
To celebrate, participants from many sectors of Florida’s agriculture sector, including employees and volunteers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, will read to elementary schoolchildren in their classrooms.
They’ll read the book, “Drive Through Florida: Aquaculture and Seafood,” which features the animated red truck ‘Ole Red’ and his new friend, ‘Bobby Boat.’ Participants are encouraged to read the book ahead of time to familiarize themselves with the content before their classroom readings.
“Ag Literacy day is a great opportunity for students to learn about something they may not see in their daily lessons,” said Becky Sponholtz, executive director of Florida Agriculture in the Classroom. “Students enjoy the interaction with industry representatives, who often take the reading day as a chance to further engage students with hands-on examples of their commodities. Last year, volunteers across the state brought samples of Florida vegetables for students to taste and feel. This year some students may get to see and touch an alligator.”
In addition to the UF/IFAS effort, participants will include Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC) volunteers, farmers and ranchers. Florida Farm Bureau members and Florida cattlemen and cattlewomen also will participate in addition to teachers and students from Future Farmers of America and Florida 4-H.
“Florida Agriculture Literacy Day has become a very popular program in the industry because it gives farmers and others a chance to step into the classroom and educate students about the important role agriculture plays in students’ daily lives,” Sponholtz said.
Readers can order free materials on the FAITC website, www.agtag.org. Readers will receive one book, volunteer fliers and a set of stickers and bookmarks per classroom, and they will bring materials with them to the classroom on the day of the reading.
Deadline to register for materials is April 18.
Books and materials are provided by FAITC and by a generous donation from the Florida Farm Bureau’s Women’s Committee.
Florida Agriculture in the Classroom is a nonprofit organization that educates Florida teachers and students about where their food, fiber and fuel comes from using lessons, materials, grants and other programs like Florida Agriculture Literacy Day.
For more information, contact Becky Sponholtz at 352-846-1391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, email@example.com
The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.