Day 14: A Younger Generation

Short attention spans, step stools to reach the board, and lots of little hands waving in the air. Where am I? You guessed it, a 1st grade classroom.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity through Illini ACT to visit a 1st grade class at Unity West Elementary School in Tolono, IL. Many volunteers in ACT are taking turns being the “Mystery Reader” in this classroom throughout the year.

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I entered the classroom a few minutes before my scheduled time and watched them finish their math lesson. After they had gathered on the carpet, I introduced myself and explained what Agricultural Communications is (telling people about farming). Then I read them a story set on a farm with a multitude of farm animals in it. As soon as I closed the book, at least 5 hands shot up and I spent the next few minutes answering questions about the book and myself. It didn’t take long for answering questions to turn into listening to stories about their trips to grandma and grandpa’s farms and their pets at home.

It’s hard not to love the sweet innocence of little kids as they ask questions and tell stories. However, before we know it, these kids will be the adults making decisions at the grocery store and it’s never too early to start teaching them about where their food comes from. You never know, in 20 years they may be standing in front of the meat counter at the grocery store and suddenly remember that silly little story a “Mystery Reader” told them back in 1st grade. They might remember that the chicken they are buying doesn’t just come from a grocery store, but is raised with the hard work of farmers.

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Check out the other 30-Day Farm Bloggers!

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