Back to School with Books and More

August 18, 2021

Leveled reading book sets, hands-on supply kits, and much more available to area educators

Leveled Reading Sets

With the generous support of local agribusinesses, commodity organizations, and family farms, DeKalb County Farm Bureau has been donating ag-related books to school libraries for two decades. During that time, we’ve also built a substantial loan library of book sets. Because, sometimes one copy of a great book isn’t enough. In a classroom with students working in small groups, 6-8 copies might be needed.

And yes, all of the books are “leveled.” For our non-teacher readers, “leveled” means the books are ranked or coded by level of reading difficulty. Leveling books helps teachers choose titles that are appropriate for the reading levels of their students, plus it aids in lesson planning. There are several different leveling systems; we’ve done our best to provide the Fountas & Pinnell, Lexile, and Reading A-Z levels for each title.

A complete list of leveled book sets and the online request form can be accessed at www.GrowYoungMinds.org. Book sets are available on free loan to teachers in DeKalb County.

Hands-on Activity Kits

Books and other reading materials are one way to learn how farming and agriculture support our everyday lives. Hands-on lessons are another. DeKalb County Farm Bureau’s Ag Literacy Resource Library is crammed with both.

“It’s like a teacher’s dream come true,” said a recent visitor to Ag Literacy Coordinator Rhodora Collins’ office, which doubles as the resource library. She may have been referring to the shelves devoted to Ag Mags and other informational reading, the lineup of realistic farm animal models, or the dozens of resource kits
lining the walls. Maybe it was the tin buckets of wheat and soybean plants, the clear jars of various grains, or all the books and posters.

In the resource library, no matter which way one turns, there’s an engaging educational tool ready for use at a moment’s notice. Educators wishing to see what’s available can go to www.GrowYoungMinds.org and explore the “Resource Loan Library” under “Teaching Tools.” Once there, they can see photos of each resource, view lists of kit contents, and request items via an easy online request process.

Corn Literacy Kit

Here is just a small sampling of the books, samples, and activities in the Corn Literacy Kit. Students can learn about different kinds of corn, corn uses, corn history, and how corn is grown as they explore the cornucopia of resources this kit contains.

Apple Kit

The Apple Chain may be the most popular hands-on activity in the Apple AgriLearning Kit. In addition to books, posters, and Apple Ag Mags, this kit includes enough supplies for 30 students (more if needed) to create their own craft portraying the apple life cycle.

Pumpkin Kit

Also popular in the fall, the Pumpkin AgriLearning Kit is packed with books and supplies. The 3-D Pumpkin craft doubles as a language arts lesson when students use the orange paper strips to convey pumpkin facts vs. opinions.


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