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Around The Grange
Vo-ag students use book barn to teach about farming

By Tom Chiari, Norwich Bulletin (5/26/10)

  MAY 29, 2010 --

When people lean in to a grocery store refrigerator to grab a cold gallon of milk, few stop to consider the path it took to get there.

Agriculture is part of America's heritage, but the process is no longer an integral part of daily life.

"Everything we do is based on agriculture," said Kayla Auger, a sophomore in Killingly High School's agricultural education program. "Kids need to know where their food comes from."

Auger, along with a group of sophomores from the agricultural education program, delivered the last of two shiny red book barns to Thompson Library on Tuesday. The other was delivered to Putnam Library last week.

The students built and painted the barn-shaped bookcases in the school's wood shop, stocked their shelves with children's agricultural books and developed lesson plans to teach elementary schoolers about farming.

"Teaching them about agriculture will help them respect the environment more and make them more aware of how everything comes from the earth," student Melodie Ross said.

Ross lives in Thompson but attends Killingly High School to participate in the agriculture education program.

"I really like little kids, so I'm excited to teach them about something that I love," she said.

Plant science teacher Beth Royer said the program emphasized northeastern Connecticut agriculture and its historic importance.

"We considered all local agriculture, dairy, maple sugar, honey," she said. "Agriculture is everything to us and a lot of us don't realize it."



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