Mentorship is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. Hendersonville FFA in Tennessee took this truth to heart when it launched the Passing Literacy Onward (PLOW) program. The goal of the program was to make reading interesting, educational and fun for elementary school children.
Hendersonville FFA engaged more than 250 school children in the PLOW program using agriculture-themed books, farm themed puppets and a puppet show written by FFA members. FFA member Kelly
Thompson designed and sewed the puppets as part of her supervised agricultural experience (SAE) project for the year.
FFA members read the books before each performance to give the program a professional touch. Many of the elementary schools had the puppeteers back several times. The young students sent the FFA members thank-you cards and, in turn, the FFA members gave them a tour of their greenhouse and animal room.
When FFA members were surveyed at the end of the year, they all agreed that one of their favorite activities was working with the elementary students. Hendersonville FFA members developed valuable leadership skills through PLOW, in addition to becoming good role models (and puppeteers!) for FFA members of the future.
Hendersonville FFA was a finalist in the 2010 National Chapter Models of Innovation Award program in the area of Student Development.