Posted December 01 2020
I would like to share a story about Jayla - one of the students Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba has influenced through the work we do.
Why share this story now? Because we have the opportunity throughout December to do something we've never done before – offer a matching donation opportunity through our generous friends at MacDon Industries! Double your donation now!
Jayla is now in grade 8, but in Grade 3, she had an AITC-M Little Green Thumbs garden in her class. She helped prepare the garden, planted seeds and watched real vegetables grow right before her eyes! Being from Winnipeg's inner city, Jayla had never really thought about where food came from, but through the program, she learned about the farms where food is grown and how it gets from the gate to her plate.
When it came time to harvest the classroom tomatoes, red and juicy on the vine, Jayla's teacher asked the class who had never tasted a tomato. Jayla raised her hand, along with several other students in the class. After harvesting the garden and tasting all the different foods they had grown, Jayla was surprised by how many vegetables she loved and had a much keener interest in food and how it's grown. She even asked her mom one night if they could make a salad for dinner, something they rarely served in her house.
The following September, Jayla's class took a field trip to AITC-M's Amazing Agriculture Adventure. She got to take part in 16 interactive stations, which gave her an even more in-depth understanding of where her food comes from and the people who help it get to her plate.
In the same school year, an AITC-M volunteer who worked at a local seed company visited her class for Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month in March. She told Jayla's class about being a self-proclaimed "city girl" who is now working in the agriculture industry. Jayla had so many questions for her and could picture herself in the volunteer’s story.
Jayla's dream is to one day be a plant scientist or a chef. She's only 13 and has plenty of time to decide, but there is no doubt that her experiences through AITC-M influenced Jayla's knowledge and appreciation of agriculture.
When I spoke to one of Jayla’s teachers, she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to take part in our programs and saw the importance and value of including agriculture education in her yearly plans. This was fantastic to hear because one of my personal passions is to help educators feel comfortable, knowledgeable and supported to teach and promote critical thinking on agriculture-related topics at every grade level.
There are so many students like Jayla, who are often three generations removed from the farm and as a charitable non-profit, creating Jayla's experience for other students is only possible if we have our community's support. Demand for new and virtual resources is steadily growing and requests for virtual programs and professional development opportunities for teachers are received weekly. This is great news, but we can’t do it without your support.
With your support, we can help more students understand the connection between the food on their plate and how it gets there. Our greatest hope is to keep inspiring these students to see themselves in the industry as our next employees and experts in their own agriculture-related careers.
MacDon understands this need and graciously gave us the opportunity to double any donation given to help us reach more students like Jayla in 2021!
Will you help me make the most of MacDon's generous offer to match donations this December? If so, please go to our Canada Helps page to make your donation today!
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Take care and stay safe,