Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (#CALM2021)
by Tayo Adegeye
The Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month (CALM) typically celebrated in March, is an agriculture and food advocacy program for students (K-Grade 12) organized by Agriculture in the Classroom Canada (AITC) across all provinces. The program has been running for 10 years.
Farmers and Ag professionals volunteer to share their stories and joy for agriculture with students in their classrooms. It is an opportunity to share with students especially those with city backgrounds, where their foods come from and also the diverse career options available in agriculture.
I love advocating and mentoring students, this year I volunteered for the CALM program and I was paired with a Grade 5 class in a school in Regina. Of course due to COVID, plans shifted to virtual means of communication. The theme for this year was ‘Healthy Foods from Healthy Farms’
I had a chat with the class teacher before coming up with a few slides going over what makes a farm healthy, healthy foods we get from farms, seeding/harvesting videos, the importance of agriculture to our SK economy and the diverse careers in agriculture. I prepared to keep the students engaged with props such as seeds, seedlings and healthy food items.
Interestingly, my chat with the students was meant to happen at the end of March but due to a case of Covid in the school, Easter holidays and online learning, our chat did not happen until May! I am very glad that the teachers and I did not give up on this learning opportunity for the kids. The conversation with the students went very well and it was very engaging! I hope to do more of this in future.