Jennifer Arnold Recognized as Bourbon County Farm Bureau Ag Literacy Award Winner
It is our distinct pleasure to announce Mrs. Jennifer Arnold as the Bourbon County Farm Bureau Ag Literacy award winner. Mrs. Arnold is in her twenty-second year of teaching kindergarten at St. Mary School in Paris, Kentucky. The kindergarten curriculum at St. Mary School follows the Montessori philosophy, which focuses, in part, on practical life. Through teaching practical life skills and life science, Mrs. Arnold makes many connections to agriculture as she teaches her students where food comes from and all that farmers do to grow a safe and wholesome product. This is a very natural connection for Mrs. Arnold because she and her husband are also farmers.
An example of this can be seen in Mrs. Arnold’s classroom each fall when she teaches about the life cycle of an apple tree and how apples grow. She connects this agriculture lesson to the story of Johnny Apple Seed and makes applesauce with her students. They even learn how to peel an apple. Another one of her fall lessons focuses on how corn pollinates. Students shuck field corn and then they use tweezers to pluck the corn seed off the corn cob. The tweezing motion helps them develop the pincher grip in their hand as they develop their fine motor skills to hold a pencil for handwriting lessons. Mrs. Arnold also teachers about citrus production and students learn how to juice different fruits and try various fruit juices, many for the first time.
In addition, Mrs. Arnold loves to teach about how livestock are humanely raised. Last year she was awarded a teacher package from the Kentucky Beef Council. She used this to teach about the lifecycle of a cow and discussed the beef products we eat from cows. Students also sampled beef jerky.
Mrs. Arnold also had a vital leadership role in St. Mary School’s summer camp program where she taught school age campers. One week of summer camp had the theme “Adventures on the Farm.” During that week, Mrs. Arnold had a variety of visitors stop by the SMS playground for interactive student experiences. The visitors ranged from a full size, as well as miniature horse, to a Polypay ewe lamb, and an 8N Ford tractor. Mrs. Arnold also taught campers how to make homemade butter and ice cream in a bag. Throughout the week, Mrs. Arnold shared about careers in agriculture, both on and off the farm, as well as accurate information on how food is safely grown.
Mrs. Arnold will move on as Bourbon County’s representative in the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ag Literacy contest.
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