|Teachers Can Apply Now for 2010 AITC Summer Institute|
Even the scorching heat didn’t cool the enthusiasm teachers had for learning about agriculture during the annual Alabama Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Summer Institute held last summer. More than 80 teachers and other educational professionals from around the state attended the institute held in Prattville. Much of the institute focuses on outdoor activities, including workshops that incorporate farming and nature into math, reading, history and science lessons teachers can use in their classrooms.
Teachers also toured several farms in Autauga and Elmore Counties where they talked with farmers and learned about the care farmers give to their crops and livestock.
Autauga Farming Co., owned in part by Autauga County farmer Andy Wendland, was among the stops on the farm tours. He said farmers should be willing to show the public what their jobs entail.
"There are so many groups out there who are supporting and promoting misconceptions about agriculture and livestock production. I think it’s important for us to share the real truth with the public, particularly teachers, about what we do," Wendland said. "It’s especially important for people to see the attention we give our crops and the animals we care for."
LaQuisia Williams of Redland Elementary School in Elmore County said she enjoyed the craft ideas she learned during the institute, but added the farm tours were her favorite.
"I had never seen a cotton plant before and it was very interesting," Williams said. "AITC is a great program, and I would definitely recommend it to teachers who want to learn new things for their classrooms."
This professional development institute includes instruction providing participants with innovative research materials and high yield teaching strategies to increase student knowledge of the nutritional and economic importance of the food and fiber systems in their daily lives. Activities and teaching material incorporate language arts, science, social studies and mathematics skills as well as those found in the Alabama courses of study and on the Stanford 9 Test. Agricultural literacy activities provide course-of-study content knowledge to be integrated into daily lesson plans. Educational traveling sessions correlating with hands-on activities provided are conducted during the conference.
The 2010 AITC Summer Institute will be held June 2-4 in Mobile. Teachers who participate in the workshop are provided with room accommodations at the Battle House Hotel, reimbursement for mileage, free materials for their classroom, a stipend and Continuing Education Units. Teachers must complete and submit an application to be accepted to attend the workshop. Applications are available at www.alabamaaitc.org, select "Summer Workshops."