Program Offers Free Books Focused On Iowa Agriculture And Food

Ames, Iowa — A program called Read Across Iowa offers the state’s elementary school teachers free books, lesson plans, and activities for their classrooms during March, with a focus on food and agriculture.

Professor Constance Beecher, in Iowa State University’s School of Education, organizes the annual effort, which has reached some 72 thousand young Iowans in all 99 counties just in the few years it’s been around.

In the next few weeks, volunteers will pack up one thousand book kits to ship out to hundreds of teachers statewide. Teachers were able to sign up for the giveaways online starting in mid-January and already, all one-thousand kits have been snapped up.

While the free books are gone, she says teachers can still get the lesson plans and other elements of the program on the website. ( Beecher, who’s the family literacy state specialist through Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, says it’s vital to read to young children for language and literacy development, and the program is helping students reach new heights.

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Continuing with this year’s food science theme, several of the books focus on topics like bread baking, making ice cream and turning grapes into jelly. They’re accompanied by links to simple recipes and video recordings with the authors.

The ISU Extension is also partnering with Iowa 4-H and the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation on the program.


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