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

Ag-in-the-Classroom

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 20 - 24, 2023

The Cornell University New York Agriculture in the Classroom Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County invite you to participate in our annual Agricultural Literacy Week to be held in 2023!  Last year, 2300 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 2023 is Tomatoes for Neela  written by Padma Lakshmi and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.

Author Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures and build communities through food.

Classrooms that are interested in participating may contact us at nassaucounty4h@cornell.edu

Volunteer

In celebration of New York agriculture, volunteers throughout the state will read a book with an agricultural theme to elementary students, with a focus on second grade classrooms. Farmers, FFA and 4-H members, adults engaged in a career in agriculture, and engaged in our food system volunteer to enthusiastically engage your students in a paired hands-on activity related to the book to extend learning. The book will be donated to the school or classroom library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and our celebration of New York Agricultural Literacy Week. 2,300 books were donated last year while 75,000 elementary students participated in an experiential learning activity. Start to finish the program takes approximately 40 minutes per classroom.

Agricultural Literacy Week volunteers work with their county's coordinator to set up visits to local schools Volunteers read the selected book aloud to the students.

Following the reading, volunteers conduct an activity with students and share their experiences in agriculture. 

The book is donated to the school or classroom library for students to enjoy and reference throughout the school year.

All activity materials are prepared by NYAITC and schools get to keep a copy of the book for their school or classroom library.

For more information about volunteering contact nassaucounty4h@cornell.edu

Contact

Ricardo Castillo
4-H Program Manager
rec296@cornell.edu
516-832-2591

Last updated October 20, 2022