Evan Orr, an third-grader from Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, watched with wide eyes as several bunnies hopped on a table at Camp Richardson on Tuesday.
He listened closely as a South Lake Tahoe Farm Day instructor taught his third-grade class about the animals’ behavior, but was frequently distracted by the bunny bouncing in the cage in front of him.
“They’re cute,” he said. “They seem nice.”
The first South Lake Tahoe Farm Day, hosted by El Dorado County Ag in the Classroom, drew about 570 third- and fourth-graders from the California side of the Tahoe Basin. It featured about 28 demonstration stations that focused on teaching children about the importance of agriculture and the role it plays in their lives.
Farm Day is made possible through a state grant obtained by Ag in the Classroom. It has been a success for more than a decade in Placerville, Executive Director Karen Owen said, because it gives kids a whole new outlook on their food.
It also helps kids choose to eat healthier and consume more fruits and vegetables, she said.
“What we find through our program is when we bring kids out to agriculture and our farms, kids are much more likely to eat (fruits and vegetables),” Owen said. “They have a connection.”
Ag in the Classroom has offered Farm Day to Placerville kids for the last 12 years, but Owen said it has been a goal of the organization’s to bring the event to South Lake Tahoe.
“In most of our communities we are incredibly separated from the food chain — fewer and fewer people know were their food comes from — so it’s really important for our kids to have an understanding and appreciation for it,” she said.
The event kicked off at 9:45 a.m., with each group visiting a different station and rotating every 20 minutes. Topics ranged from local crops, worm composting and soils to nutrition, pest management and farm animals.
Cows and horses were among the animals showcased at the event, but third-grader Joel Gomez was most excited for the goats.
“I want to see how a goat gets teeth,” 8-year-old Gomez said.
Ruth Rich, a parent attending Farm Day, said she appreciated the opportunity for her son, Will.
“It’s great to live in Tahoe,” she said, “where you can take advantage of the natural sciences and go to a school that encourages this environment.
“It’s great to have field trips like this in our district,” Rich added.
Schools, staff recognized for participation in heart program
The American Heart Association recognized a number of schools in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District on Tuesday for their participation in the 2012-13 Jump Rope for Heart Program.
Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School, Sierra house Elementary School and Tahoe Valley Elementary School were publicly acknowledged at a district board meeting for collectively raising $13,625.36 for the American Heart Association.
Physical education teachers Kristi Jouett and Seth Martin were honored at the event.
Soirée to support new music instruments for college
The Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation and David Brock Music will be holding an afternoon soirée on Sept. 29 to benefit the Music Department at LTCC.
Food, drink and live music will be available at the event, which starts at 3 p.m. at a private residence in Stateline, Nev.
Advance reservations are required due to space limitations and seating will be limited to 40 people. Tickets cost $100 each. For more information, call Peter Bostic at 530-541-4660, ext. 245.