By: Shayla Hertz, Agriculture Awareness Intern, Regional Services Branch
It’s that time of year again! Students and teachers are back to school, looking forward to another year of learning and growing – and new experiences with Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC-SK).
While Saskatchewan students soaked up their last few weeks of summer, August was a busy month for the AITC-SK team. They hosted an Agriculture Expedition for educators to enhance their personal understanding of modern agriculture practices and technologies during a three-day tour series of farms and agri-businesses. To actively promote their collection of science-based, teacher-reviewed, curriculum-linked and free resources, AITC-SK also attended teacher conventions across Saskatchewan.
AITC-SK provides extensive opportunities for teachers and students to participate in out-of-school programs, allowing for first-hand experiences that foster active engagement and information retention. Direct interaction with food and farmers is delivered to students through programs such as: Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month, Food Farms, AG Experience, AG Expedition, Explore Ag, Biotech Blast and many more. Moving forward, AITC-SK is making it their goal to reach more grade 7-12 students with agriculture education activities, focusing on the areas of Science, Technology, and Career Education.
AITC-SK is passionate about educating youth in agriculture and works hard at what they do – but they cannot do it without the collective and continuous support of the agriculture industry. Sponsorship is essential in helping to advance agriculture education across the province.
As AITC-SK expands their reach and society’s interest in food and where it comes from persists, the demand for AITC-SK’s innovative programs and educational resources rises. The more readily available these learning tools are for teachers, the more students can grow their understanding, appreciation, and respect for modern agriculture. A proper understanding of agriculture begins in the classroom, where teachers, as influencers, help build strong connections with students and create an environment for enlightening agricultural experiences.
Today, there are 180,000 students in Saskatchewan from Kindergarten to Grade 12. In 2016, AITC-SK reached 68,600 students from 550 schools in 225 communities, meaning 38 per cent of students in this province have had a learning experience that made a connection to agriculture.
Whether you volunteer to visit students and share personal food and farming stories, promote AITC-SK to your local school and your children’s teachers, or support AITC-SK as an industry sponsor, you are helping to shape the future of agriculture. Let’s create a positive perception of Saskatchewan agriculture and show the next generation the vital role it plays in our province, country, and world.
Don’t forget to like and share AITC-SK stories on social media @aitcsk. To learn more about how you can support AITC-SK, please contact their Executive Director, Sara Shymko or 306.933.5224.
For more information on AITC-SK’s current partners, resources and programs, visit Agriculture in the Classroom Saskatchewan website.