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Bill No. 29-0160 (Agriculture in the Classroom Act)

Bill No. 29-0160 (Agriculture in the Classroom Act)

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Published by: A Renewal of VI Politics on Mar 09, 2012
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03/09/2012

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 COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION, YOUTH AND CULTURE
02/07/12-AMENDED AND HELD IN COMMITTEE01/19/12-REPORTED OUT TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND JUDICIARY10/31/2011-HELD IN COMMITTEE
BILL NO.
__ 
29-0160
 ___ 
Twenty-Ninth Legislature Of The Virgin IslandsOf The United States
September 9, 2011
An Act amending title 17 Virgin Islands Code to enact the Agriculture in the Classroom Act
PROPOSED BY:
 
Senators Terrence “Positive” Nelson and Sammuel Sanes
WHEREAS,
there is a need to expand youth awareness and understanding of our Virgin Islands
 
1
agriculture and natural resources by integrating agricultural concepts into core educational disciplines
2
and the V.I. Board of Education’s supporting programs; and
3
WHEREAS,
there is a need to promote, foster and understand the agricultural economy of the
4
Virgin Islands; and
5
WHEREAS,
students should understand the basic educational concepts which includes
6
agriculture; and
7
WHEREAS,
an Agriculture in the Classroom Program would foster the basic understanding of 
8
our food system, the importance of plants, animals, insects, soil, vegetables, fruits and the like; and
9
 
— 2 —
WHEREAS,
workshops should be included for the students and teachers to be successful; and
1
WHEREAS,
agriculture in the classroom is encouraged in grades K-12; and
2
WHEREAS,
agriculture in the classroom in the Virgin Islands is a grass roots program that will
3
 provide teachers and students in grades K-12 with an understanding of how our food is produced and
4
how to preserve our natural resources; and
5
WHEREAS,
agriculture in the curriculum will be required from grade K thru 6th grade and will
6
 be offered as an optional class based on a student’s interest from 7
th
thru 12
th
grade; and
7
WHEREAS,
the Agriculture in the Classroom Program seeks to work within existing curricula
8
to provide basic information on our local Agriculture industry; and
9
WHEREAS,
some of the concepts Agriculture in the Classroom Program will emphasize are
10
agriculture and history, geography of agriculture, agriculture and technology, economics of agriculture,
11
agriculture and the world, careers in agriculture, and agriculture and public policy; and
12
WHEREAS,
the Agriculture in the Classroom Program will be carried out in each public school
13
in the territory by educators, volunteers, and representatives from agriculture organizations and
14
 businesses in the Virgin Islands; and
15
WHEREAS,
the National Agriculture in the Classroom Program serves as an available resource
16
to local school systems seeking to promote an understanding and appreciation for agriculture by infusing
17
agriculture content into school curriculums; and
18
WHEREAS,
the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agriculture in the
19
Classroom Program has been an effective tool in portraying agriculture's role to students of all ages; and
20
WHEREAS,
there are more than 300 careers in the agriculture field;
 Now, Therefore,
 
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 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands
:
22
 
— 3 —
SECTION 1.
(a) Title 17, Chapter 5, Section 41, subsection (c) is amended by adding a new
1
appropriately numbered paragraph to read as follows:
 
2
“( ) Basic agriculture education for students in Kindergarten through 12
th
grade pursuant to §41e
3
of this chapter.”
4
(b) Title 17, chapter 5 is amended by adding a new §41e to read as follows:
5
§ 41e. Agriculture in the Classroom Program; basic agriculture education
6
(a)(1) The Department of Education is authorized and directed to establish and maintain a basic
7
agriculture education program with special courses and classroom instructors taught and administered by
8
qualified educators and teachers, in every public elementary school in the Virgin Islands. The
9
Department of Education, in collaboration with The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture and the
10
United States Cooperative Extension Service of the University of the Virgin Islands will develop the
11
curriculum for the Agriculture in the Classroom Program. The program will utilize a network of local
12
volunteers such as high school students for On the Job Training, parents, retired teachers, local farmers
13
and business across each district. These individuals and businesses will provide supplies, equipment and
14
knowledge towards the enhancement of the program. The United States Department of Agriculture will
15
 be used as a resource to assist the territory in carrying out coordination of the Agriculture in the
16
Classroom Program efforts by providing program ideas and materials.
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(2) The Department of Education shall seek the assistance of other government agencies and
18
 private organizations that are involved in the area of agriculture education for development and
19
implementation of an agriculture education curriculum guide composed of thematic units, lesson plans,
20
and educational field trips that are aligned with the academic content standards of the Department of 
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Education for grades Kindergarten through grade twelve.
22

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