The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade from across the country for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.
This year, Johnnie Keel, Gifted and Talented teacher at Truman Elementary School in Norman, and seven other teachers from across the country have been selected as the 2019 National Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Award winners.
Johnnie Keel was once quoted as saying, "It's so important for us to know where our food comes from." However, the elementary school teacher with 23 years classroom experience doesn't stop at the "where" of agriculture. Through her Oklahoma Ag in the Classroom (AITC) activities she shares with her students about "who" the individuals are that devote their lives to provide food and "how" those individuals take care of not only people, but the earth.
As a way to increase interest in agriculture and STEM in young girls, Keel also recently created GLAMS (Girls Learning Agriculture, Math and Science). More than 20 fifth-grade girls meet every two weeks and complete a variety of STEM activities.
Keel and the other educators will be honored at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference, “AgVenture in the Natural State,” June 19-21 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
To be considered for this column, please email achievement announcements and photos to LLynn@Oklahoman.com.