Cream of the Crop

October 2005

California AITC Conference
Oct. 20-22, 2005 Sacramento
The West's best conference for agricultural literacy is less than a month away! Take advantage of the early bird registration of $200, and hotel rate of $95, before day's end on Oct. 7. Register Online and receive your confirmation packet soon after in the mail. Tour, make 'n' take, and workshop descriptions are available on the Web site at

Imagine this... Story Writing Contest
Deadline: Nov. 1, 2005
There are only four more weeks until the Imagine this... deadline. Have your 3rd through 8th grade class write stories about California agriculture, then submit the top five to your regional coordinator.
Download a brochure or call 800/700-AITC to request copies for yourself and a colleague.

2006 Teacher Resource Guide
Have you seen or created a resource about California agriculture lately? There's still time to submit for the 2006 edition of the Teacher Resource Guide. Fill out the Resource Recommendation Form.

How have you used the Teacher Resource Guide this year? Fill out the 2005 Teacher Resource Guide Evaluation Form to let us know what you liked, and what you would like to see next year.

Outstanding Educator of the Year
Nomination Deadline: Oct. 28, 2005
Application Deadline: Nov. 25, 2005
Nominations for the 2006 Outstanding Educator of the Year are due at the end of this month, but you don't have to wait for the deadline to reply. Nominate your favorite educator, or better yet, fill out an application for yourself, today!

Share your Success Stories!
Our donors like to hear how their financial support makes a difference. Do you have an anecdote from your classroom that can help us bring Californias ag literacy accomplishments to life? Help us validate the need for ag literacy by sharing your story with us! You can submit your comments anonymously or with your name attached, but either way, please let us know if you are a teacher or volunteer, and what grade level(s) and subject area(s) you align with. Selected anecdotes may be retold in such venues as presentations, grant proposals and CFAITC publications. E-mail your anecdote to or fill out an online form.

One Book Sacramento
Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library, Sacramento
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2005 6 p.m.
This reception co-hosted by The Sacramento Bee and the Sacramento Public Library Foundation will initiate the month-long literary project One Book Sacramento: Connecting Our Communities. The selected book is Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto. The author will be available for book signing after the Author-in-Conversation program.
Visit to learn more about One Book Sacramento and other opportunities to meet the author.
Masumoto will also be featured at the California AITC Conference on Friday, Oct. 21 at Cal Expo Fairgrounds.

Wacky Watersheds
Oct. 8, 2005 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $20 deposit
Watersheds affect everyone--both in and out of agriculture. But what is a watershed? How can we prevent water pollution? Why conserve water when there's no drought? How is wastewater treated? Find out at this Resource Area For Teachers workshop in San Jose.
Visit to enroll.

Life Lab - Growing Classroom Workshop
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14-15, 2005 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $300
This garden-based workshop in the Life Lab Garden Classroom includes: strategies for guiding students in a garden setting, applying academic standards for today's accountability requirements and basic gardening and composting instruction. Experience hands-on activities for making science come to life in the garden. Workshop participants receive a copy of The Growing Classroom activity guide, resource handouts, a garden wall calendar, and continental breakfast.
For more information, visit or call 831/459-2001.

2005/2006 Whale Tail Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: Nov. 15, 2005
The California Coastal Commission's Whale Tail grants support programs that teach California's children and the general public to value and take action to improve the health of the state's marine and coastal environments. Adopt-a-Beach programs, as well as other beach maintenance and coastal habitat restoration projects that have an educational component, are also eligible for the grants. Grants are available in any amount up to $50,000. Applicants must be either a non-profit organization or a government entity.
For more information, visit or contact Sylvie B. Lee at 415/904-5271.

2006 Youth Garden Grants Program
Deadline: Nov. 30, 2005
National Gardening Association awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered, outdoor garden programs. Award prizes include gift card from The Home Depot, activity package with NGA publications, and more.
For more information, and to download an application, visit

Jewel Case Germinator
Gathering and charting data on root and shoot growth is fun with these quick and easy seed germinators! Meets California Science Standards for grades 2-5 and 7.
Download PDF

California Pistachio Commission - Lesson Plans
Grades: 9-12
Two lesson plans are available from the California Pistachio Commission, Determining the Calories in California Pistachios and Testing California Pistachios for Nutrients--Food Chemistry Testing.
Visit to download for free.

Ask a Master Gardener!
Los Angeles County Master Gardeners know the answers to your garden questions. They've had years of experience, and they've been taught by University of California experts. Call the Master Gardener Helpline anytime at 323/260-3238 or e-mail


National Science Teachers Association
Deadline: Saturday, Oct. 15 (for most awards)
State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants
Deadline: Monday, Oct. 17
President's Environmental Youth Awards
Deadline: Monday, Oct. 31 (extended deadline)
Scotts Give Back to Grow
Deadline: Friday, Dec. 2
Outdoor Classroom
Deadline: Varies