PLOW Program Rewards Student Readers

Monday, February 20, 2006 | 6:00pm

Nashville , TN- The Tennessee Department of Education has launched a new program to promote enthusiasm for reading called Passing Literacy Onward (PLOW). PLOW reinforces avid reading by rewarding students who devote 30 hours or more to extracurricular reading and student chapters that host literacy events, such as book drives or book fairs.

“Helping students find the joy in reading is one of the most valuable legacies we can hope to instill in students,” Education Commissioner Lana Seivers said. “Initiatives like PLOW aim to help students discover that joy for themselves.”

The Tennessee Association FFA developed PLOW to encourage the development of higher literacy skills and expose students to the variety of reading materials that cover their areas of interest. While PLOW targets agricultural education students and FFA chapters, students earn points for reading to elementary children or mentoring slow or non-readers.

“The PLOW program has allowed students to use their talents and time to make a positive difference in the lives of other people,” Agriculture Education Consultant Steven Gass said. “It motivates students to live up to the FFA motto, Living to Serve .”

Other activities eligible for points include reading print or online materials related to agriculture, leadership development, self-improvement, career development or personal growth; taking a reading course or collecting donations for libraries or educational agencies.

“Students of the digital age are challenged to understand and analyze a greater variety of written information,” Seivers said. “Encouraging a hunger for reading is an important step toward cultivating the competency that requires.”

This program is sponsored through a partnership with the Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the Tennessee Association FFA.

Student PLOW chapters may compete for state recognition for outstanding activism in reading literacy at the annual Tennessee FFA convention in April. For more information about PLOW, call Steven Gass at 532-2847.

Education