During the last week of April, several members of Riverside High School’s FFA Chapter volunteered with the SAGE Center to teach the students at Sam Boardman Elementary about agriculture and a bit of its history in Oregon. The volunteers led a hands-on activity connecting an American folk literature story with modern-day farming and some of the challenges that farmers must overcome.
“The lesson is part of Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s 2018 Ag Literacy Project” said Stefanie Swindler, education coordinator at the SAGE Center. This is the 11th year Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom, or OAITC, has held its statewide spring Literacy Project.
“After learning more about the Ag Literacy Project, I knew it would be a great opportunity for Boardman’s FFA Chapter to promote agricultural awareness to our youth,” Swindler said.
Sam Boardman Elementary Librarian Anne Orcutt invited the group of volunteers to present their ag lesson during the students’ library time. The students learned the ‘Six F’s of Oregon Agriculture’ – farming, food, fiber, fishing, flowers and forestry, – then listened to the story, Apples to Oregon, which gave a fun-filled glimpse into the real story of how Oregon’s first orchards began.
Partway through the lesson, the students divided into small groups to play an apple farming card game with the volunteers. The groups of students were responsible for their own apple orchard where they would face different scenarios and have to make decisions regarding their farm.
“The volunteers did an excellent job of modifying their lesson to accommodate our younger students,” Orcutt said. “I especially loved that all the kids learned a new word ‘agriculture’ and its relevance to our community.”
Riverside FFA Vice President Alexis Villegas said she was excited to participate in the project. “I had a lot of fun teaching the younger students about agriculture and FFA.”