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NY Celebrates Agricultural Literacy Week


A full slate of reading events are planned across the state throughout Agricultural Literacy Week in New York. Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball, and New York staff members are joining thousands of volunteers across the state to visit classrooms and engage with students through book reading and hands-on activities. Now in its 19th year, Agricultural Literacy Week is a statewide effort organized by New York Agriculture in the Classroom to educate students about the importance of agriculture and opportunities for careers in the industry.

Each year, Agricultural Literacy Week gets our kids reading, learning, and opening their eyes to the opportunities in agriculture that are all around them, and it’s key to ensuring that we will have a thriving agricultural industry here in New York State for years to come,” Governor Hochul said. “As a former 4-H kid myself, I salute the thousands of volunteers across the state who are taking the time to teach our students where their food comes from and to care for the land around them.”

“I’m proud to once again participate in the statewide Agricultural Literacy Week effort and get the chance to read to some of our youngest New Yorkers,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “There’s nothing more important than reaching our students and encouraging them to broaden their learning. With this initiative, we’re planting seeds of opportunity for our kids, teaching them about agriculture in the state, and its impact on their everyday lives, as well as the world around them.”

New York State has one of the longest-running and largest Agricultural Literacy Week programs in the country. Each year, volunteers visit schools throughout the state to read an agricultural-themed book to students. This week, Lieutenant Governor Delgado will visit John James Audubon School No. 33 School in Rochester on Tuesday, March 19. Commissioner Ball will also visit a second-grade classroom at Schoharie Elementary School on Thursday, March 21. In addition, nearly two dozen Department of Agriculture and Markets staff members are joining the statewide volunteer effort to visit classrooms and conduct lessons, nearly double the number of staff members that participated last year. For classrooms that are unable to host a volunteer this year, and to share the educational lessons of this year’s Ag Literacy book far and wide, a video recording of the book reading by Commissioner Ball is available here.

Agricultural Literacy Week 2024 celebrates strawberries, one of the sweetest fruits of summer. This year’s selected book, “I LOVE Strawberries,” written by Shannon Anderson with art by Jaclyn Sinquett, shares one girl’s unstoppable mission to grow her own food from seedling to table in a colorful introduction to the joy of growing the popular perennial. In the book, young Jolie is determined to convince her parents to let her grow strawberries and she models the qualities of responsibility, creativity, and tenacity. Ranking 8th in the nation in the production of strawberries, New York’s strawberry crop is one of the first local foods available in markets and roadside stands during each harvest season.

In 2024, a record 103,000 students statewide will be a part of Agricultural Literacy Week. During volunteers’ visits, students benefit from an interactive lesson with volunteers sharing their personal experiences in agriculture. Teachers are provided with follow-up activities to continue these important educational opportunities throughout the school year.

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