March 3, 2015- The Delaware Farm Bureau and students of Smyrna High School debuted ten “Book Barns” Saturday, February 28 during the “I Love Smyrna School District Day” at Smyrna High School. The Book Barns, which are book shelves shaped and painted like barns, were built by students with an Agriculture Structures Pathway, part of the Agri-Science Program at Smyrna High School. FFA Advisor and Agriculture Structures Teacher, Jay Davis oversaw the program after New Castle County Farm Bureau Board Member, James Correll, introduced the idea to them.
The Book Barn idea started in 2014 at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas. Delaware Farm Bureau members learned about the success a neighboring state’s Farm Bureau had with a similar program, and brought the idea back to Delaware to increase ag-literacy in our youth. James Correll built the first few book shelves before taking the idea to Mr. Davis and his students, one of which is Mr. Correll’s grandson.
The ten Book Barns will be distributed throughout the state to elementary school classrooms, specifically for grades K-3rd. Accompanying each book barn will be a set of books including AFBF’s 2015 Book of the Year, “The Apple Orchard Riddle” written by Margaret McNamara. Other agriculture related books include “Seeds, Soil, and Sun,” “Chicks and Chickens” and “How Did That Get in my Lunchbox?”
On hand Saturday during the Book Barn ceremony were Delaware Farm Bureau President Kitty Holtz, Smyrna School District Superintendent Debbie Wicks, Smyrna Town Council Member John Embert, Smyrna High School Assistant Principal Leon Clarke, New Castle County Farm Bureau President Stewart Ramsey, New Castle County Board Member James Correll, and FFA Advisor & Ag Structures Teacher, Jay Davis. Also at the ceremony were FFA members and students who helped construct the Book Barns.
“The Delaware Farm Bureau is thankful for James Correll and his idea to bring these Book Barns to schools in Delaware,” said President Holtz. “We’re also very appreciative for Jay Davis and his students’ wonderful work in constructing these bookshelves. The books housed in these Book Barns will teach kids about agriculture and start conversations with their teachers and families about where their food comes from.”
Any educators interested in acquiring one of the Book Barns and free set of books for their school library or classroom should contact the Delaware Farm Bureau at (302) 697-3183.