Ag Institute accepting applications

Published 9:01 am Friday, March 11, 2011

Applications are being accepted until April 15, for the annual Alabama Ag in the Classroom (AITC) Summer Institute, a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, that arms teachers with materials and strategies to increase student knowledge of agriculture.

Set for June 15-17, at the Marriott Shoals in Florence, the workshop will include activities for kindergarten through sixth grade teachers and field trips to several area farms. The activities incorporate language arts, science, social studies and math skills.

“AITC is a program that educates teachers and students about agriculture in our state, and provides opportunities for children to learn about farming, and how important it is to our daily lives,” said AITC Chairman Kim Earwood. “The Summer Institute provides books and hands-on activities that teachers can carry back to their classrooms. The activities teach children about agriculture, while at the same time reinforcing classroom curriculum of history, math, science, reading, and writing that complement the Alabama Department of Education’s course of study.”

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“The most popular part of the Summer Institute, however, is the farm tours, Earwood said.

“Our tours allow the teachers to actually meet a farmer and ask questions about what happens at their farm,” Earwood said. “When you hear a teacher who has been teaching for 28 years tell you it is the best workshop she has ever attended, it shows that the programs efforts are all worthwhile and headed in the right direction.”

The Institute will be limited to 95 educators, and applicants will be selected on the basis of an application form available online at

For more information on the AITC Summer Institute, please contact Kim Earwood at 334-612-5370, or email Or Charlene Powell, locally, at 334-376-9980, or email