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February 18, 2014   Email to Friend 

Melissa Martin
(334) 612-5448
February 18, 2014

Educators get a first-hand look at agriculture through farm tours, workshops and more at the annual Ag in the Classroom Summer Institute. Applications for the 2014 Institute are due April 15.

Teachers seeking modern ways to introduce traditional subjects to their students are encouraged to apply for one of 95 coveted seats at this year’s Alabama Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Summer Institute. The program is June 11-13 in Birmingham, and educators have until April 15 to apply.

AITC participants learn innovative techniques for integrating agricultural activities into their classrooms from guest speakers and fellow educators. They will tour local farms, speak one-on-one with farmers and gain first-hand insight into producing food and fiber.

“Our Ag in the Classroom Steering Committee is really excited about the AITC Summer Institute this year, with plans to visit gardens and outdoor classrooms at schools in the Birmingham area,” said AITC Chairman Kim Ramsey. “We hope this school tour experience, as well as visiting with a panel of teaching-farm experts, will give educators an opportunity to learn how to plan, develop and operate gardens and classrooms in their local school setting where students can learn firsthand about agriculture.”

Educators who complete the three-day program will return to their classrooms armed with lesson plans, examples of hands-on activities and books to help teach students about agriculture. Activities incorporate language arts, science, social studies and mathematics skills plus those found in the Alabama courses of study and on the Stanford 9 Test.

Kindergarten through sixth-grade classroom and home-school teachers, media specialists, administrators, Extension agents and district conservationists are eligible to attend. Former institute participants may apply, but preference is given to first-time attendees.

The AITC program fulfills continuing education requirements. There is no fee to apply or attend, and lodging and meals are provided. Applicants must be present for all activities from 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 11, until noon Friday, June 13, to receive workshop materials.  

AITC sponsors include the Alabama Farmers Federation, Alfa Insurance, Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Poultry & Egg Association and the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries. Proceeds from the sale of the Ag Tag license plates also benefit the program.

To apply online or learn more about the program, visit AlabamaAITC.org. For questions, contact Ramsey at (334) 612-5370 or kearwood@alfafarmers.org. To view photos from last year’s institute, ‘like’ the group’s page at Facebook.com/AlabamaAITC

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