Book Barns Promote Agricultural Learning
Hopkins FFA Alumni were proud and excited to deliver two book barns to the libraries of Hopkins Elementary School and Sycamore Elementary School the first week of March. Just in time to help celebrate with March being reading month.
The FFA Alumni applied for and received funds from the Student Organization Grant that was used to purchase books for both barns. The Alumni also partnered with the Allegan County Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Chairman, Ronda Gilbert who donated the barn structures and an additional $500.00 in books. These “agricultural accurate books” will focus on teaching elementary students about all aspects of agriculture. Allegan County Farm Bureau will be adding a new book annually, building the agricultural book library through the years.
The barn structures themselves had not been utilized in quite some time and were in need of a facelift. Alumni members Harry and Ann Kiraly donated their time and talents by remodeling the barns with shelves to be able to accommodate books of different shapes and sizes. Finally, the barns were finished with paint and vinyl detailing. The barns also contain a storage area inside where extra books can be kept, changed out and refreshed throughout the year.
FFA members will go to the schools and read books as part of their elementary education initiative. The selected story times will be scheduled around other current FFA programs or focused literacy events that already exist. Some of these events are the annual Garden Project for the 2nd and 3rd graders, Ag in the classroom or Project Red, National Ag Week, Ag Literacy week and National Literacy month. During those events a drawing will be held where a winner will be selected and the student can take a book home to keep.
The FFA Alumni, chapter members and the Farm Bureau are excited for the future growth of this agricultural education project. Enjoy your books kids.
Pictured above, left to right. Harry Kiraly, Hopkins FFA Alumni member; Dawn Punches, Hopkins FFA Alumni Vice President; Ronda Gilbert, Sycamore Elementary School educator and Allegan Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Chairman.