Virginia AITC picks pollinator book as its 2018 Book of the Year

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RICHMOND—Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom’s annual Agriculture Literacy Week will take place March 5-9; and Virginia AITC has selected These Bees Count, a children’s book by Alison Formento, as its 2018 Book of the Year.

The book leads young readers through a farm adventure as they learn how bees work to produce honey and to help food and flowers grow.

“This is our largest volunteer event of the year,” said Tammy Maxey, AITC senior education manager. “We are expecting over 1,000 volunteers to participate and read to children across the commonwealth. The 2018 book highlights how integral pollinators are to food production.”

Copies of These Bees Count are available for purchase at $10 each, and an educator guide with reading comprehension and art activities is available for teachers and volunteers. These Bees Count is best suited for children in pre-kindergarten through third grade.

Agriculture Literacy Week volunteers typically read to children in their local elementary schools, libraries and child care centers. They previously have included participants in the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Program and Young Farmers Program, 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 Cooperative Inc. have been major supporters as well.

For Agriculture Literacy Week details or to order books, visit

Virginia AITC has been providing agriculture classroom connections to the state’s educators for over 25 years. It is part of a nationwide effort to foster understanding and appreciation of agriculture, which is Virginia’s and the nation’s largest industry.

The program has reached over a quarter of a million children and provides training and materials to more than 2,000 educators annually. Its website provides teachers with Standards of Learning-aligned lessons, literacy activities and more. All AITC services are provided to educators at no cost.

The AITC program is funded by donations received through the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, a nonprofit organization that receives financial and administrative support from Virginia Farm Bureau Federation.

Media: Contact Maxey at 804-290-1143.

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