News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Sixty-four third grade teachers, including those from private schools and home schooling parent, gather to prepare for Ag-Venture Wednesday afternoon after school. Only 24 will be attending the event for the first time.
published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Volunteers needed for 2012 Ag-Venture program
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
SEBRING -- Twenty-three days from now, 1,200 third graders descend on Firemen's Field over the course of three days.
That can mean only one thing: Ag-Venture is coming -- a hands-on learning experience that opens the world of farming and agriculture to the students.
Even though the organizers and most teachers are well experienced, this being the event's 13th year, detailed pre-planning and communication remain vital to success. Timing is of the essence, lunches have to be organized, transportation arranged and students briefed on what to expect.
Which is why 64 teachers, including some from private schools and home schooling parents, gathered at Fred Wild Elementary School's cafeteria Wednesday to synchronize watches, so to speak, and fill big bags with agricultural subject material designed to help teachers weave agriculture into different subject matter and show its importance to health through nutrition, and its contributions to the economy.
Darlene Phypers, and her daughter Daniele Daum, founded Ag-Venture.
Phypers said, "I think our FFA and 4-H Club have grown because the kids get a taste early."
Phypers and Daum are still very active and very hands-on -- they led the meeting Wednesday -- but they now they have a dedicated cadre of trained volunteers to help.
It takes 120 volunteers a day to make the complex, interactive, mass learning experience a success.
According to years of student reviews, Ag-Venture is the event of year; something every third grader looks forward to, based on word-of-mouth alone.
Students attend on two different paths, each leading through seven stations dedicated to a commodity or agricultural issue.
The key is that each station has a hands-on lesson. For example, while learning about dairy students make butter and eat it on a cracker. Each station stop lasts about 20 minutes.
Phypers is always looking volunteers, this year in particular as Ag-Venture is coming two weeks early and winter resident volunteers have not yet returned.
For a free T-shirt, a home-cooked lunch, and the reward of watching children excited to learn, call her to offer some time. People may volunteer for one day only or all three. Most volunteers work in the different stations helping the children with the hands-on activities. Agricultural expertise is not a requirement. No public speaking is involved.
Call Phypers or Daum at 465-2313.
Small Banner Ads