Learning about Local Food

Each Spring, 2nd graders learn about New York state agriculture – what kinds of food are grown and produced in the state, what areas these foods come from and the people who are involved in growing and producing them. Over 30 Spoons trained volunteers read to students and facilitate an activity as part of this week long national program. This year’s Agriculture Literacy Week is being implemented in schools across New York City over two weeks.

2016 Agriculture Literacy “Week”: Monday, March 14th through April 22nd*

 *(In order to work with as many schools as possible, Spoons Across America has extended the “week” to run from March 14th to April 22nd.)

Spoons Volunteers and Educators  read The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara to second grade classrooms. This fun and exciting story shares the journey of Mr. Tiffin’s class on a field trip to an apple orchard. The students learn about every aspect of the farm from how apples are harvested, the process of making cider, and the many different varieties of apples. While the class picks their apples and experiences the farm, Mr. Tiffin gives them all a riddle to ponder.

Children participated in a science activity tied to Common Core educational standards, and have an opportunity to sample some fresh apples. They will be given a take-home activity sheet containing related vocabulary, recipes, and games.

Volunteer Training:

Wednesday, March 2nd from 11:30-1:00 or 4:30-6:00. Contact ali@spoonsacrossamerica.org for more information.

In 2015, children were read The Honeybee Man by Lela Nargi and Kristin Booker. After reading this beautifully illustrated story describing the process of beekeeping and honey collecting on a rooftop in Brooklyn, students will participate in a sequencing activity tied to Common Core educational standards, then will give students some honey to sample and a recipe for Chef Bobo’s Honey Vinaigrette to take home and share with their families.

View a wonderful video from 2013 Agriculture Literacy Week featured in CUNY TVs Study with the Best:

Study with the Best- Spoons Across America from Ali McDowell on Vimeo.

Previous programs included learning about apples through classroom activities and reading a the book “The Empire State Investigator: The Applesauce Bandit” provided by Spoons Across America. Students discovered that apples are grown from seeds, honeybees are needed to pollinate apple blossoms, and that most apples are picked in the fall. They also read the book “Sugarbush Spring“, learning how maple syrup is produced and took part in a maple syrup tasting activity. Visit New York Agriculture in the Classroom for more information.

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Our Programs

SAA develops and supports food and nutrition based educational programs which encourage children to become independent and inquisitive food explorers.