Fayetteville, Arkansas- The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is pleased to announce that it has recently partnered with the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program members to strengthen pre-kindergarten (Pre-K) through 12th grade agricultural literacy outreach to educators serving Native American communities.
NAAF will work with NAITCO to increase the number of teachers who are working with Native students who will attend the 2021 NAITCO conference “Fields of Dreams” June 28-July 1 in Des Moines, Iowa. The conference provides important professional development opportunities for teachers throughout the country. The teachers who will come to the conference will hear from Dr. Anton Treuer, professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University, who has authored many books throughout his career. His career has been dedicated to equity, education, and cultural work; his keynote address will be: “Transformative Teaching: How to Infuse Equity Tools in Your Classroom Delivery.”
NAAF’s partnership with NAITCO will also encompass working on Native farming articles for the AgMag publication that is part of Agriculture in the Classroom work that reaches Native communities. Focusing on creating unique opportunities to reach Native communities through teacher professional development and special publications can have the combined impact of strengthening NAITC’s work in Native communities.
“With partners like the Native American Agriculture Fund, we are able to reach more teachers and more Native students, aiding NAAF in its efforts to create Native American youth leaders in the agriculture sector,” said Tammy Maxey, president of NAITCO and programs director of Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom.
“Educating youth about the value and role of agriculture, and careers in agriculture in their communities is critical,” said Janie Simms Hipp (Chickasaw), chief executive officer of NAAF. “We are pleased to work with NAITCO and assist in our joint efforts to encourage more agriculture-focused educational resources available to Native K-12 students and to assist in supporting teachers of Native students, who are such a critical link.”
NAITCO is a non-profit organization made up of AITC programs in 50 states including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its mission is to educate teachers and students in Pre-K-12 about the importance of agriculture by incorporating agricultural concepts into classroom instruction. NAITCO and its AITC state program members reached 87,000 teachers and 8.2 million students in 2019. To learn more about NAITCO, please visit www.agclassroom.org.