By: Katie Carpenter NYAW Secretary and WNY District Leader

Ever wonder how you could do your part to help promote teaching Agriculture to NY’s school children? If so volunteer to participate in NY’s Agricultural Literacy Week! Agricultural Literacy Week is organized by the New York Agriculture in the Classroom program in celebration of National Agriculture Week, March 18th-March 22nd. Volunteers from across the state volunteer a half hour or so of their time to read a book with an agricultural theme to second graders. After the book is read to the classes there are hands-on-lessons and follow up activities related to the theme of the book that the teacher can utilize in the classroom. This is the 7th year of the successful NYS program. Last year 1,400 books were donated to school libraries with a bookplate recognizing the book’s donor and thousands of second graders participating in the fun, educational activities.

This year for the first time two books have been chosen as the theme for Ag Literacy Week. The first book is titled The Beeman by Laurie Krebs and Valeria Cis. The book is about a young boy who tells the story of his grandfather who is a bee keeper. The book teaches about the methods of honey extraction, the different types of bees and bee keeping techniques. The second book was chosen especially for students and teachers in an urban setting. This book is titled The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi and Kyrsten Brooker. This book is about an urban beekeeper who keeps his beehive on his rooftop. He extracts the honey in his kitchen and shares the jars of honey and experience with his neighbors.

This will be my first year participating in Agricultural Literacy Week. I will be reading The Beeman to second graders at Letchworth Central School in Wyoming County. I am looking forward to volunteering my time to promote my love of agriculture to others. I would like to encourage my fellow NYAW members to participate in Ag Literacy Week if you are able. This would be an excellent opportunity for NYAW to show support for NY Agriculture in the Classroom and to share our common mission of promoting awareness and appreciation for NY’s food and fiber agriculture. For more information visit the website at There are links on the website to view the coordinators for each county or to directly register as a Literacy Volunteer. If you are unable to donate your time to read a book perhaps donate a book to your local school’s library. I look forward to sharing my classroom experience as a Literacy Volunteer in a future blog and I look forward to hearing about your classroom experience as well. Happy reading!

Agricultural Literacy Week March 18th-March 22nd 2013
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