Weekly digital jigsaw – Readers visit classrooms to share agriculture book – Star-Herald
PRESQUE ISLE and MAPLETON, Maine — To commemorate National Agriculture in the Classroom Week March 19-23, many volunteer readers in Aroostook County and throughout the state visited classrooms to celebrate and spread awareness of the importance of Maine agriculture by sharing the book “Applesauce Day.”
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The books were purchased with funding from the Maine agriculture license plate. Volunteers for the Read “ME” program visited more than 700 classrooms statewide, reading the book, sharing important information about agriculture in Maine, and doing various agriculturally related activities.
One local organization, Maine Agri Women (MAW), recently sent several volunteers throughout Aroostook County schools to read the book, including member Athena Hallowell, who visited four SAD 1 elementary classrooms.
The book, by Lisa Amstutz and illustrated by Talitha Shipman, is the story of one family’s tradition of picking apples together and making applesauce in a special pot which has been passed on through the years.
After reading the book, Hallowell asked the children to taste test three varieties of apples, and then choose their favorite one. The students then graphed and discussed their results.
One stop was at Doreen Archer’s second grade class at Pine Street Elementary school in Presque Isle.
“My second graders loved having Mrs. Hallowell come to read to them,” Archer said. “They enjoyed the book, the apple taste testing, and the data collection lesson she taught.
“Many students were still talking about their favorite apples the next day, and the book was quite popular during silent reading. This is a great program,” she said.
Hudson Porter, 7-year-old son of Matt and Billie Porter and a second-grader in Cindi Condon’s Mapleton Elementary classroom, said, “My favorite part was when we taste tested three different apples. I liked the Granny Smith apple best. It was sour.”
Hallowell also visited Katie McKenna’s kindergarten class and Lynne Brabant’s first grade class, both of Mapleton Elementary School.