The Southern Boone Learning Garden (SBLG), as part of our school district, has been selected as one of 20 participants to engage in the “Missouri Elementary Ag Units Project”. Garden Educator Hope Sickmeier testified at the state legislature in support of Senate Bill 218.  The senate bill authorizes the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish a three-year pilot program to provide agricultural education in elementary schools and determine how to best implement a program statewide. The pilot is planned to begin this fall, the 2020-21 school year.

The project is being led by Missouri DESE, specifically the Agricultural Education division and Science Curriculum & Assessment division in the Office of College and Career Readiness. The Missouri DESE team is partnering with Vivayic, a learning solutions company, to facilitate this project. Another partnership was formed with Washington University Institute (WashU) for School Partnerships and their mySci curriculum. 

The pilot includes three full mySci Ag Units; one each for 3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade. Each of the mySci Ag Units meets required science Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) for each grade level and supports elementary National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes. By piloting these units, teachers will be meeting the requirements for science MLS that they are already teaching, but in a different way — through turnkey activities and methods of application with an agriculture focus. 

~ Read more in today’s Journal ~

By Ernie Wren