A volunteer reads to a group of 2nd graders in Tompkins County during Ag Literacy Week 2006. Ag-in-the-Classroom
Image by Sandy Repp

A volunteer reads to 2nd graders during Ag Literacy Week 2006.

Agricultural Literacy Week

Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau. Its mission is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students, and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems. 

NY Ag Literacy Week: March 15-19, 2021

New York Ag-in-the-Classroom and the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development program invite you to be a reader for the annual Agriculture Literacy Week to be held March 15 to 19, 2021. Last year, 2000 books were donated to school or classroom libraries and books were read by volunteers to thousands of second graders throughout New York State.

The selected book for 2021 is Chuck’s Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) written by Viola Butler and illustrated by Ward Jenkins.

Ice cream is a treat we enjoy in many forms and flavors. But how often do we stop and think about how the ice cream we're eating made its way to the cone or dish we are enjoying it from? Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) connects the delicious treat to the work farmers are doing every day to grow, raise and produce our food. This book will take students on an explorative journey to learn about dairy and to trace the food on their plate back to its source- the farmer.

With over 4,000 dairy farms and ranking fourth nationally as the largest producer of milk, dairy is vital to New York State. New York State is also the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream in the nation. The dairy community in New York includes both large dairy operations and small, family run farms. It also boasts processing facilities of various types and sizes, from major global processing companies to small artisanal dairy product makers. We are excited to feature a book that displays the unique markets and diversity that encompasses many aspects of New York's dairy industry while also focusing on processing and how consumers contribute to agriculture.

Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) highlights the dairy industry with vivid illustrations and a humorous storyline. Students will understand the importance of agriculture as an economic driver in communities across New York and develop an awareness for where their food comes from and its journey.

Volunteer

The Ag Literacy Week book and lesson materials will be delivered to participating classrooms in advance of our celebratory event. Volunteers will have the opportunity to virtually “visit” local elementary school classes during the entire month of March to help us celebrate this year’s Ag Literacy Week! Ag Literacy Week volunteers will read the Ag Literacy book and guide the teachers and students through an interactive activity through video conferencing technology. At the conclusion of the activity, the book will be donated to the classroom library for students and teachers to use throughout the school year. 

2nd grade teachers and volunteers who are interested in participating in NY Ag Literacy Week should call or email the contact for this page. Visit the New York State Ag in the Classroom website to learn more about statewide activities and to learn about agriculture-themed books that have been featured in other years.

Last updated December 22, 2020