Agricultural Literacy Week
Agricultural Literacy Week ~ March 20-24, 2023
- How does the Agricultural Literacy Week program work?
- About About Tomatoes for Neela by Padma Lakshmi
- Educator Resources
- Agricultural Literacy Week Archive
- Sponsor a Book for Your Local School
How Does Agricultural Literacy Week (ALW) Work?
In celebration of New York agriculture, volunteers throughout the state will read a book with an agricultural theme to elementary students, with a focus on second grade classrooms. Farmers, FFA and 4-H members, adults engaged in a career in agriculture, and engaged in our food system volunteer to enthusiastically engage your students in a paired hands-on activity related to the book to extend learning. The book will be donated to the school or classroom library with a bookplate recognizing the donor and our celebration of New York Agricultural Literacy Week. 2,300 books were donated last year while 75,000 elementary students participated in an experiential learning activity.
Start to finish the program takes approximately 40 minutes per classroom
- Agricultural Literacy Week volunteers work with their county's coordinator to set up visits to local schools
- Volunteers read the selected book aloud to the students.
- Following the reading, volunteers conduct an activity with students and share their experiences in agriculture.
- The book is donated to the school or classroom library for students to enjoy and reference throughout the school year.
All activity materials are prepared by NYAITC and schools get to keep a copy of the book for their school or classroom library.
About This Year's Book
Tomatoes for Neela
Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.
Author Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures and build communities through food.
Educator Resource Guide
Agricultural Literacy Week 2023 celebrates the connection of food and culture and how it ties generations together. Utilize the Educator Resource Guide to connect the story, Tomatoes for Neela, with an interactive lesson and additional extension activities and resources.
- Educator Resource Guide
Classroom ALW Videos
Padma Lakshmi reads "Tomatoes for Neela"
Immerse yourself in the story as Author Padma Lakshmi reads aloud from her book, "Tomatoes for Neela".
Companion Lessons and Resources
You can share these additional resources with the classes your volunteers read to so teachers may prepare their students for Agricultural Literacy Week or extend the learning afterwards in their classrooms.
Utilize this resource to explore the vocabulary in this year's book.
Agricultural Literacy Week Archive
Now in its 17th Year, Agricultural Literacy Week has helped to bring agriculturally themed books and resources into thousands of classrooms and libraries throughout New York State.
Click book image below to explore past years books and resources.
Sponsorships & Donations
Would you like to fund the purchase of one or more books?
The books are $12 each and will be donated to the school library after being read.
Contact your county coordinator for more details on where to send your donation. Donors will be recognized on a special bookplate. You may choose to have your donated book sent to a specific school, or to read it yourself to your local school.
For County Coordinators
This area of NYAITC's website is for those who assist with carrying out Agriculture in the Classroom programming. County coordinators should follow the link below to login and access planning documents and information regarding Agricultural Literacy Week.