Established in 1985, New York Agriculture in the Classroom (NYAITC) is a partnership of Cornell University, the NYS Department of Ag & Markets, the NYS Education Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the New York Farm Bureau. Its mission is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of how we produce food and fiber, what we eat, and how we live, by helping educators, students, and their communities learn about and engage with agriculture and food systems.
New York Ag-in-the-Classroom and the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program invite you to be a reader for the annual Agriculture Literacy Week to be held March 20-24, 2023. 2,300 books were donated last year while 75,000 elementary students participated in an experiential learning activity.
Written by Padma Lakshmi
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.
Author Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures and build communities through food.
Volunteers will visit local elementary schools during Ag Literacy Week to read and talk to children about New York's agriculture industry. At the conclusion of the day's activities, the book will be donated to the school library for students and teachers to use throughout the school year. 2nd grade teachers and volunteers who are interested in participating in NY Ag Literacy Week should call or email the contact for this page. Visit the New York State Ag in the Classroom website to learn more about statewide activities and to learn about agriculture-themed books that have been featured in other years.
Last updated January 26, 2023