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Does Your School District Have a Farm?

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Touch the Soil News #263 If you live in Elkhart, Indiana – a city of some 51,000 residents – your school district not only has a farm, but a full time agriscience coordinator. Elkhart School District has 14 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 2 high schools – 13,000 students in all. Reporter Michelle Sokol of the Elkhart Truth provided the details of this bold move by the Elkhart School District. Elkhart elementary students get their first agricultural experience at the school farm. (Photo courtesy of J. Tyler Klassen/The Elkhart Truth) With the recent hiring of Cyndy Keeling as the agriscience coordinator, the plan is to create the largest public…

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Modern Day Victory – Stephen Ritz and the Green Bronx Machine

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Touch the Soil News #105 – Includes 2 videos. A few years back, I was privileged to attend an advanced two-day seminar on how to teach. I was unprepared for what the facilitator had to say. In short, the “academic” approach to learning reaches only about 20 percent of students – the other 80 percent learn best by seeing, doing, experiencing and on the job. In one fell swoop, Ritz abolishes the concept the growing food is only for farmers. Being faced with high drop-out rates and his limitations in reaching students, Ritz decided to change the rules. In his own words, Ritz explains his approach: “I’m not willing to…

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