What’s in the Garden? will be 2014 Virginia AITC book of year

RICHMOND—Virginia’s Agriculture in the Classroom program has selected What’s in the Garden?, written by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Cris Arbo, as its 2014 Virginia AITC Book of the Year.

The book was selected because it teaches children that good food doesn’t begin in a box on a store shelf. Told in riddle form, it features colorful photos of plants and gives children the opportunity to guess what fruit or vegetable grows on each one. The page following each plant’s description reveals the fruit or vegetable, along with a kid-friendly recipe.

“This book is a great early elementary read-aloud with lots of opportunity for show and tell,” said Tammy Maxey, senior education programmer for Agriculture in the Classroom. “It is a great book for adults to read to children and will create a lot of interaction. The book was written and published in the United States and the illustrator, Cris Arbo, lives in Buckingham County, making a great Virginia connection.”

The book will be read and distributed in schools statewide by volunteers during the fourth annual AITC Agriculture Literacy Week, March 23-29, 2014.

“During the past three years we have averaged about 1,850 volunteers who have read to children in classrooms across the state,” Maxey said. “We’re hoping more people will volunteer to read this great book to children and teach them more about agriculture.”

Volunteers have included Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program and Young Farmers Program participants, FFA members, employees of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other state agencies, and members of other agricultural organizations and businesses. Farm Credit of the Virginias and Southern States have been major supporters.

For more information about Agriculture Literacy Week, visit AgInTheClass.org.
Media: Contact Maxey at 804-290-1143.

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