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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Educational System Screwed? Maybe not…

With all the budget cuts and bailouts that we deal with every day, one elementary school in Walton, Kansas has decided to go back to their roots with success. Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center has incorporated agriculture into every class in their curriculum. The K-5 grade school has had great results by outscoring other schools on state assessments.

The best thing about Walton incorporating agriculture in the school system is the integration of the town, students, parents, and teachers. Parents and other family members are involved with the classroom projects, field trips to farms, and even family-style cooking! Wouldn’t it have been great to have a home cooked meal every day for lunch when you went to school? In addition, with the world evolving more into a business world each and every day, providing the opportunity for children to spend more time around their parents can provide great opportunities for the students. Businesses have been in support of the school by offering discounts to the school in purchasing items.

Other schools need to take notice and look at the positive impact agriculture education can have on the students, and some are. The Oswego school district has been down to shadow and is replicating the system. There is no substitute for hands-on learning. I know several schools have considered eliminating their agriculture education system from their high school due to budget cuts. I would not be a first year veterinary student at Kansas State if it wasn’t for the fact of my agriculture education in high school.

Hopefully this trend will catch on and spread like wildfire. Maybe, just maybe, the education system is not screwed and there can be a light at the end of the tunnel. I applaud the efforts of Walton and now Oswego communities for implementing these programs and pulling together. The children are the future of our society. Upbringing kids in a way that will positively impact students by teaching them the “grass roots,” they will be able to expand their knowledge and become the next leaders.

Take care!

Miles Theurer

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