The Kent County Farm Bureau is one of 10 recipients of $1,000 each from the White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which recognizes the outstanding agricultural literacy efforts of educators and communities across the country.
A total of $25,000 in scholarships and grants was given recently to build on their work to connect students with how their food is grown.
The grant will go to University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Embryology Program, which teaches embryology in kindergarten through second grade classrooms throughout Kent County. Grant money will be used to upgrade the incubators used.
“This is so awesome, and I know the teachers are going to be so excited to use the new (digital) models,” said Kristen Cook, 4-H youth development educator. “In doing some test runs and learning about the new incubator, we have seen the hatch rates increase from an average of 60-65% to closer to 90-95%. While this may seem minor, it is a huge improvement on the old model and will improve the experience for the participants even more.”
Cook said the older models would be retained “to slightly expand our reach within staffing limitations but mostly as back up incubators as the need arises.”
The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education is a project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, in cooperation with the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. The fund honors two former committee chairwomen, Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, who were trailblazers in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy. Applications for the mini-grants are accepted in October and April.
Cook expressed her gratitude to the White-Reinhardt Fund and the Foundation for making this possible.
She relayed one success story from a teacher who wrote, “The children’s interest in this science experiment was the most engaging of any we’ve done all year. They were able to verbally explain the steps of the life cycle of a chicken, describe the steps of how a chick hatches, learned empathy, how to care for a living thing and describe similarities and differences between the chicks.”
The foundation also awarded 10 teachers and classroom volunteers with $1,500 scholarships to attend the National Ag in the Classroom Conference, to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, June 23-26.
For more, call 697-3183.