BLOOMINGTON----The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program is proud to announce Lee County Ag in the Classroom is funded $7,984.54 for the 2019-2020 School Year. Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom based these grants to counties off the 2018-2019 year-end reports.
In 2018-2019, the Illinois AITC program reached 664,534 students with a message about agriculture. Additionally, 37,650 teachers and 968 pre-service teachers learned how to incorporate agriculture into their existing curriculum while meeting state learning standards.
Kevin Daugherty, Education Director for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program said, “Our county level programs are the biggest strength of our IAITC efforts. The local contacts provide content knowledge and easy strategies for teachers to utilize. The county programs work to integrate agriculture into existing classroom curriculum.”
“We are entering our eighth year offering agriculture based lessons and resources to Lee County teachers and students," said Katie Pratt, coordinator for Lee County AITC.
"Seeing kids throughout their school career has been rewarding. We can build on what was taught the year before and I see their knowledge of farms and food grow," said Pratt.
County Coalition Grants are made possible through funding from the IAA Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois Farm Bureau. The IAA Foundation seeks funding partners and coordinates fundraising events to support Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom. In addition to County Coalition Grants, funds raised support teacher grants, Summer Ag Institutes and keep resources like Ag Mags available to teachers and students at no cost.
“Thanks to the generosity of our individual and industry contributors, the IAA Foundation is able to award an all-time high of $667,000 in grants to 81 coalitions across the state,” said Susan Moore, Director of the IAA Foundation. “These funds help local ag literacy efforts continue to thrive in both rural and urban communities throughout Illinois,” she continued.
Partner organizations of the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program include Illinois Farm Bureau, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE), University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Beef Association, Illinois Corn Growers, Illinois Pork Producers, Illinois Soybean Association, Midwest Dairy Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. In addition, annual donors include many agribusiness partners and individuals with an interest in supporting the future of agriculture. More information on the IAA Foundation can be found at www.iaafoundation.org
For more information on Agriculture in the Classroom in Lee County, contact the Lee County Farm Bureau at (815) 857-3531 or log on to www.agintheclassroom.org.