The Odessa Record -

Local FFA gets $15,000 grant for curriculum items


--Photo courtesy of HaLee Walter.

Odessa agriculture students display the $15,000 check received from the Washington FFA Foundation for curriculum materials in their classes.

Odessa agriculture science teacher HaLee Walter and school superintendent Dan Read applied for and have received a grant for $15,000 from the Washington FFA Foundation. The Foundation provides financial support for programs that recognize excellence in agricultural education and FFA leadership. It had $1.75 million to administer and fund the equipment and technology associated with its Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). Grants were available to CASE-certified teachers who are currently or will be teaching a course using the CASE curriculum. School districts would be awarded partial or full grants to be used for the purchase of such equipment.

Last summer, Walter attended a two-week class in Pullman to become certified in the AFNR (Agriculture, Food and National Resources) portion of the curriculum, which is a broad, very science-based agriculture curriculum. It covers everything from animals to soils, GPS mapping to pH testing, plus topography and much, much more. "I am extremely happy for our agriculture department to be receiving this grant; it is truly an blessing," said Walter.

The materials provide a high level of educational experiences to students to enhance the rigor and relevance of the AFNR subject matter. Besides elevating the rigor of AFNR knowledge and skills, the curriculum enhances science, mathematics and English language understanding.

The CASE curriculum uses science inquiry as a foundation for its lessons, and the concepts are taught using activity-, project- and problem-based instructional strategies. In addition to the curriculum aspect of CASE, the project ensures quality teaching by providing extensive professional development for teachers that leads to certification.


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